The dictionary defines white space as the “areas of a page without print or pictures,” but it is so much more than that. It’s a wayfinder. It’s a palette cleanser. It’s a reprieve from chaos. It’s sunshine on a cloudy day. Can you tell that it’s also kind of our jam? If we released an album of power ballads for design, white space would be our breakout single.
We love the simple way that the Interaction Design Foundation describes it as “the area between…and within individual design elements, including the space between typography,” (Soegaard, 2018). Also referred to as negative space, white space doesn’t have to be white at all – it comes in all colors and textures. If you’ve ever worked with a designer, they likely leaned into white space on your project. Perhaps that even stirred the pot a bit, because you didn’t understand why all of that great real estate was (gasp!) just sitting there empty.
Here are 4 reasons why white space isn’t a waste and why your website needs it.
- It provides breathing room. Less is more here, people. If you say all the things, no one will hear anything, no matter how loud you’re shouting. White space gives other basic elements of visual design (such as lines, shapes, colors, texture, typography and form) room to do their job – which is to tell the story of your business.
- It promotes wayfinding. White space helps draw people in to what is most important, emphasizing message hierarchy and calls to action. With the countless “bright shiny lights” that constantly vie for our attention, white space anchors the mind and helps it process information. If people can’t find what they’re looking for quickly, they’ll move on and find it somewhere else (and take their business with them).
- It’s the glue. You know that allstar at the office who constantly works behind the scenes to keep everyone on the same page and things moving seamlessly forward? White space does that for a website. Its understated value allows all of the pieces that surround it to shine, so people are able to actually engage with your content.
- Because, strategy. Intentional use of white space is about more than a pretty web page, it’s a tactic in what should be a larger digital strategy. Research and planning should always precede design, so that everything that makes it on the page has a specific reason for being there, and can some way be tied back to your ultimate business goals.
Need a beautiful website (white space included)? No problem, we eat html for breakfast. But more than that, we can partner with you to develop a complete digital strategy that will help your business see real results. Let’s start a conversation.