All creative endeavors begin with a blank sheet of paper. During the design phase of a website or mobile app, elements such as text, graphics, buttons, menus, and more are added to a blank page or screen. Even though it would be tempting to cram as much data as possible into the user interface, doing so runs the danger of making the UI look disorganized and unappealing.
Everyone who interacts with a product or service should be able to do so with ease, and this includes the UI. This happens when there is adequate vertical white space between all of the page’s components.
In this essay, we’ll define white space and show you five different ways it’s been used successfully in design.
What is white space in design?
White space, often known as negative space, is the space around a web page’s content and navigation. The fundamental purpose of white space is to give your design some breathing room by reducing the amount of text and functional items that consumers have to process at once.
Despite the name, a white room is not necessarily white. The term “white space” is used to describe space on a page.
White space in user interfaces consists of elements like:
- Text line and character spacing.
- Dead zones around and between functional objects like buttons.
White space design: 5 practical examples
You can now effectively use white space in your designs thanks to your newfound knowledge of what it is and how to identify it.
1. Make text more readable
The majority of the information we may access via the internet and mobile apps are in written form. Therefore, it is essential to design a user interface that makes reading simply for your target demographic. White space enhances readability by making it easier to scan the page and zero in on specific portions.
If you want to make the text easier to read, one trick is to increase or decrease the line height (the vertical distance between lines of text). Too tiny of a line height will make reading the content more challenging for the user. However, readers may find it difficult to focus on the text if there is an excessive quantity of white space between the lines.
I’ll explain how to calculate the ideal line spacing if you’re interested. It’s important to match the line height to the weight of the typeface. Line height for body text ought to range from 120% to 145% of the font size.
2. Create connections between individual elements
Since the white space around content determines the relationships between them, it greatly affects how the information is understood. One of the four primary Gestalt laws, the Law of Proximity states that visually similar objects are subconsciously regarded as being of the same quality. White space can be thought of as a visual cue, signaling to the brain that what it is seeing is not a collection of individual elements but rather a whole.
You can use this as a standard when designing online forms. Labels that are near their corresponding fields help bring everything together.
3. Drive the user’s attention to particular objects
In a well-designed page, white space plays a crucial role in directing the user’s attention and activities. A connection between white space and user attention could be defined by noting that increasing the amount of white space surrounding an object causes users to pay more attention to it. This occurs when there are no other nearby things.
Strategic use of white space on promotional landing pages is a tried and true method of attracting the viewer’s eye. You can direct the reader’s attention to specific sections of your content or functional elements (like call-to-action buttons) by using white space.
Designers may easily gauge the attentiveness of their audience by using a five-second test. Quickly, close your eyes and explain what you see on your website after looking at it for only five seconds. You have successfully employed white space if you have designated the elements you wish the audience to focus on.
4. Create a visual hierarchy on a page
Consumers can take in more of the information displayed on a page with the help of “visual hierarchy” (the right organization of material). When first landing on a page, most visitors scan the content rather than read it. Good visual hierarchy improves a website’s scannability.
By strategically placing blank areas, designers can direct the viewer’s gaze down a predetermined path. When designing a website, you can choose between two main grid layouts: one that is symmetrical and one that is asymmetrical.
Symmetrical patterns are more pleasing to the human eye. A symmetrical layout is easier to understand because it gives the brain a feeling of stability and order.
In contrast, an asymmetrical object or feature is not balanced. Asymmetrical features are commonly used by designers to attract more attention. The use of asymmetry is a powerful tool for designers looking to highlight particular elements on the page.
Remember that symmetrical and asymmetrical designs equally require equilibrium. Harmony demands that you have the skill of giving appropriate weight to different aspects of your work. Size and other visual properties, such as contrast, define the relative importance of various visual aspects (contrasting elements attract more attention than neutral elements).
5. Convey a feeling of elegance
The success of your brand’s identity depends on your usage of white space in the design. Making liberal use of negative space alongside pristine text and eye-catching pictures can lend your design an air of sophistication. It draws the customer’s attention to the goods you wish to sell and emphasizes their significance on the page.
White space is never wasted space
When used properly, white space can be a powerful design element. When properly implemented, it becomes an integral part of visual design, acting as the glue that holds the page’s many elements together while also improving the interface’s usability. As early as possible in a project’s development, keep white space’s significance in user interfaces in mind. Integrating a white space system into your UX design processes will help you produce a more consistent appearance and feel across your project by requiring you to choose from a set of preset values.