Key Benefits of White Space on Your Business Website
White space: People are nowadays looking for simpler and easier ways to do everything. This is the main reason why search engines were created, to enable internet users to get information on any topic, product, event or any other thing they are looking for very easily.
Let’s go through the process; a user searches for something, an article or a product, the search engine produces a list of websites. At this point the user has numerous choices but no time to read through the content of all the websites.
What happens next?
The user clicks on one site, scans through, clicks on the next site and does the same. The user will do this until they find what they need. Which website will stand out, out of these? Which one will not overwhelm the user?
Chances are that the website with a simple, easily navigable layout that draws the user will win the competition of sites.
This is the process millions of internet users around the world go through every second. It is therefore important to make sure that your website stands out, is visually appealing and keeps the user scrolling through for more content.
How do you do this? One of the ways is by using white space effectively.
What is white space?
White space is often referred to as negative space. The unmarked areas on a page or the areas left blank. Mark Boulton’s Whitespace article terms it as empty space.
When narrowed down to web-design, it’s the space between elements; pictures, graphics, columns, text and many other elements.
White space and web-design
Just like we’ve mentioned above, users only stick around when the website is appealing enough to hold their attention.
Another factor: Our brains are created to take in information a certain way and get cognitive fatigue when too much information is crowded into one small space; you get a panicky feeling wondering, “do I have to read this?”
This is the feeling most of us get when we have to read notes! When content is overloaded, the brain has difficulty absorbing it all and you have to force yourself to take it in if you really need it.
Several examples can be used to make this point like why we have no problem going through a magazine than say a medical journal with too much text. Why we remember information on simple banners that we’ve seen once very easily and numerous other examples.
With this in mind, your website needs to be created with simplicity.
So, What Should You Focus On When Creating A Website?
Picture Google, most people take it for granted but their page is all white with just the search button. No distractions. That is exactly it, using white space effectively. The focus is on:
• Call to action(CTA)
• The website’s objective
• Good user experience
Always remember less is more. A simple design has a huge impact on the overall effect of your aesthetics. It also affects the “aura” of your site.
The user feels calm, excited to start shopping, eager to keep reading or if used badly extremely bored and ready to leave. You don’t want to overwhelm the visitors to your site.
Whatever your website is, a blog or an e-commerce site, you want your visitors to enjoy their time there and keep coming back for more. You also want your site to be easily navigable.
Using White Space
White space doesn’t necessarily have to be white. It can be any color at all. The aim is to use simple designs that are sophisticated, elegant and don’t look cluttered.
Before you organize your space, think of all the elements you want to include, pictures, graphics, text, video, margins, headers; envisage all this and picture how you want to organize them on a page.
For there to be no clutter, you have to choose the most important (with your sites objective in mind) elements that you wish to include.
Try now to figure out how you can use more space around these elements. Remember user experience; you want to create a space that isn’t too hard on your user’s eyes.
A Few Reasons To Use White Space
White space when used correctly will offer your site many advantages over others. Let’s have a look at some of them.
The Content Is Easily Readable
White space makes it easy for visitors to your site to read your content. It may sound simple but margins, columns and space to make the users have an easy time and a great experience on your site.
People have less and less time to spend every day. When a user is on your site and there are too many distractions, they will leave immediately.
For more interaction, you’ll want to minimize this as much as possible by creating a page that creates calmness and encourages the reader to navigate your site for more.
Call to Action (CTA)
White space enables you to highlight your call to action very clearly. Remember Google? When a user visits your site, their attention is immediately drawn to your call to action which could be anything; shop now, donate, subscribe today, whatever the call to action is, white space can be used to highlight it very well.
Let’s admit it we all like neatness. Even when you o for a “rugged” look for your site, there still needs to be an element of compactness about it.
A website that’s all cluttered and untidy chases users away. White space gives you site an airy, compact look which is quite impressive to users.
White space creates a balance between your elements. If you’re using text and pictures, white space and how you arrange them helps to balance them out so that the overall layout of the page is well spread out as opposed to having text and pictures all rammed together.
Note: Too little white space causes disorganization and confusion while too much may make the user think that your site has no content. You need to strike a balance between the two.
The fold is the area that the user first sees when they visit your site. It is advisable to not put too much content in this area.
You could also argue that a user could start scrolling your site from any point. Therefore, the fold depends on your website’s layout.
Designer & Developer
When plans and designs are exchanged back and forth between these two, The final product may completely be out of the circle the designer had in mind.
It is important to work together with the developer when designing a website. This way, you are able to plan all the elements for one harmonious website.
Designers and Clients
If you’re a designer and you’re presenting your layout to a client, always explain the importance of the white space.
Most clients want to put as much content as possible on their websites and don’t want to see big blank areas on their pages. Of course, back up your reasons with facts and you might just win your client over.
It’s always important for a client to understand that it’s easier to remember a brand when there aren’t too many distractions to contend with.
5 useful Tips
- Less is more
Don’t get overwhelmed by content and feel the need to put every single thing on your site. People don’t have the time to read all of it! Remember less is more and use only the key elements that users can skim through quickly.
- Float some elements
Don’t be too geometric about your layout. Let some elements break the margins a bit. You don’t want your website to appear too rigid.
- Unleash your creativity
Be creative with your elements and create a work of art. Users will remember your site for it and come back for more and even better, refer other people to it.
- Prioritize your elements
Organize your elements and layer them by priority. For example, If your focus is your call to action, make sure that is the most visible, if it is a blog, then the story or picture will definitely tale more prominence and the other elements will be more out of the way.
- Use your micro-white space effectively
These are the small spaces between individual elements like words or text. The use of these small spaces affects the users’ experience of the whole page.
Look at these two sentences:
- I use micro-white space e f f e c t i v e l y.
- I use micro-white space effectively.
Do you get the idea? You tend to read the first one as individual words and not a full sentence as opposed to the second text.
It is important that you don’t just treat white space as “empty space”. It should be factored into your layout as an element of design that brings harmony to other elements.