Have a look at this web page. Did you notice how the letters don’t touch each other? Did you notice the spaces around the images? Did you notice the areas that told you nothing at all? You probably didn’t. You didn’t notice they were there, but you would have noticed if they were not. Those areas are the white space. And white space in website design is very important.
I like to think that great design should go unnoticed. Let me explain. A truly great website design is a pleasure to look at. It communicates its purpose clearly, the information flows in a logical way and compels you to take the required action. You do not notice all the little design details that some designer has painstakingly implemented, the design rules that have been followed, the weighting, the leading, the colour, the spacing, the contrasts and the tones. White space is one of these key design rules.
White space in website design is all the areas around your content. This even includes the space between letters in a word and the space between lines of text. These areas are often not white at all, sometimes they are part of an image or a bright colour, but they are always open and uncluttered. For white space to work, it needs to not be the element that draws your attention, but rather the canvas that calls attention to elements you want to highlight. Blurred images, big blocks of colour or contrasting colours can all become effective white spaces.
Creative Bloq has a great article with some examples of effective use of whitespace in website design.
Things to remember with white space in website design
“The fold” is a term you will often hear when you are talking website design. It is the area of the website a user first sees when landing on a web page before they scroll. The initial reaction from a website owner might be to ensure that all the important information sits in this space. This would definitely be a relevant point if it were not for “the scroll”. The area above “the fold” is essentially the bait enticing users to scroll to see what else you have to offer or to find out more. White space in the form of a massive image, an appropriate texture or a bright in-your-face colour with a simple call to action can be the perfect morsel for a prospective client.
In website design, white space varies according to the user’s screen size, so it needs to be proportional. On smaller screens, white space becomes vital to user experience as it helps users easily select menu items, hyperlinks and buttons. Here are some other great tips on designing a user-friendly experience.
All the real estate on your website design is valuable. The decision on what to fill with content and what to leave as white space is vital. Find a digital design agency you can trust to help your business find a great solution.