How to Use White Space in Web Design


Whitespace, also known as negative space, is a part of the page that has been left unmarked, left blank or the page’s empty space. In the world of web designing, white space refers to the space between images, columns, text, graphics, and other components. This space is intentionally left untouched to smooth everything out and turn the page into something amazing. Whitespace also aims to show that simple designs are elegant and a page doesn’t have to fill its layout with graphics and text to convey a message that’s clear and direct.

Even though it is termed as white space, it doesn’t have to exactly mean that it has to be white. The blank space may be coloured, blue, green, red, etc. as long as it doesn’t have any graphical and text elements. Whitespace is also linked to style and intricacy since it’s an approach to organizing elements and help users in attending to particular elements.

For you to have more white space in your layout and provide a much better outcome, begin by discerning a page’s every detail. Think about the images, words, menus, letters, items in a list, header, footer, and margins. Think of all the above mentioned elements, and try to provide more space between those elements, considering that you want to make something stylish and clear and at the same time improve the user experience. A good user experience means having enough space for elements to breathe and letting the eyes of the readers relax. Putting size 11 text and filling it in the bottom part of the page will not provide a good experience for the readers.

Below are tips on how to use white space effectively.

Use white space wisely

As previously discussed, white space is the blank area around a page’s design elements and it’s not necessarily white as other colors can be used. One of the feelings that a white space convey is open-air and calm feeling. It’s highly recommended to leave huge portions of white space surrounding the vital area of the page, which will make it more noticeable. A good example of a website that uses white space effectively is Apple’s website.

Obviously, the same concept applies in designing black or dark-coloured themed websites; however, having a dark background can somehow convey something different. Objects on a page that are surrounded by a huge dark background convey drama and excitement.

Let some elements float

Normally, layouts of web pages are equally geometric and boxy. Though it is usually a great idea to have all your elements align in a grid, if you follow this rule exactly your page can appear too rigid. To make the page noticeable, play around with the vital elements. Let a vital element break the rule a bit and fall outside the grid. This will help your page stand out.

Remember, less is more

Obviously, the less things you plan to put on your page, the easier it is to take into account floating elements and white space that stands out in the grid structure. Try to restrict the number of less trivial things on your page, and instead place these on another page that focuses on that particular element.

Layer elements by their importance

Distinguish a value proposition from actionable info on how to start with differentiating product offering with balance white space. Position the vital messages on the top of the page and use white spaces to guide the eyes of your readers from one content asset to another.

Avoid monotony

White space needs balance instead of symmetry. Even a site that’s made from the huge amount of images like Pinterest will try to avoid using images that have the same size. The white space all appears even around the elements; however, the elements themselves have different sizes. White spaces will only work great along with well-made positive spaces. Make sure that the positive spaces of your page are layered, natural, interesting or enclosed by white spaces for a spectacular visual result.

Pay attention to micro white space

Micro white space can be seen inside individual design elements instead of the broad spaces in-between elements. The visual experience of users can be greatly affected by line spacing and letter spacing. All text, which includes button text, headers, and footers, must not look too cramped and hard to read. Links and navigational menus must also have micro white space to help improve reading.

The Bottom Line

White space doesn’t only generate balance and harmony, and aid in creating a design, it is also useful in leading a reader from one element to the next. A designer’s goal should include making sure a website looks simple and organized, and be able to provide information that readers will enjoy.

It’s vital that white space isn’t only considered as a “blank” space, it should be treated as the element of design that makes objects for a page to exist. It’s the space that helps in balancing things out in a page. Although white space is unquestionably something good to utilize, it can also be something that can produce a great amount of resistance between clients and web designers. This is mainly because most clients do not want to look at a huge amount of space on their sites, which leads to designers to have to talk about the importance of white space and its role in website designing.

Sure, at first glance, white space just seems to appear empty and ordinary. However, in the end, it will help the whole look and feel of the design of the site.