When you are creating a particular website, you mainly focus upon those stuffs that help in highlighting your designs. For instance; images, colors, fonts and pictures are paid maximum attention while execution of any sort of web designing task. However, most of the times there are certain invisible parts that play an equally important role while the tasks are being executed.
The negative or the Whitespaces left in between the elements are overlooked by maximum of the web designers. They think Whitespace as the left over empty space that has no use in the designed website.
However, that is not true. Whitespace can be filled with certain contents so as to make people spending all the more time at your website. Whitespace tends to set a tone for the affects and designs that directly affects the usability of the site created by you.
What is Whitespace all about?
If you ask me what is whitespace, as a non-technical person I would say it is the blank space you see on a webpage. But, experts have a meaningful definition for the same.
Basically whitespace is the space that has no print over it while the entire website has been designed. Such a space does not print anything when one types anything over it. For instance; carriage return and tab space.
These are the two Whitespace characters that are commonly known to most of the web designers.
Whitespace is also referred to the space between the elements that helps them to separate from each other. This consists of the space included on the edges of fixed width layouts, margin spaces, padding around pictures and text blocks that include padding and margins.
Whitespace also comprises of spaces in between the lines of texts and letters in words.
What color do you think whitespace could be in? It could be black or white or maybe some other color?
You must always remember that Whitespace does not necessarily be white in color. If the color of background is kept black, then the Whitespace will also be black in color. Whitespace is the area design where no elements are placed by the designers.
Why do people disapprove the use of whitespace? Have wondered ever?
I have been keen on finding out why people disapprove whitespace and here, is what my research says:
The fold concept:
There are people who say that users do not scroll below the fold. This topic is controversial and the internet community is still doubtful about whether people scroll above or below the fold.
Most designers ensure that the design is such that all the important content and all other components are stuffed in above the fold.
But, as we know people do not like it when a lot of things are being stuffed in together simultaneously in a single place. They do not read what you have got! They leave your website.
Okay! To say let us believe people are only interested in the components above the fold! What do you do?
Let us add the most important elements like our content and the call-to-action above the fold and put some whitespace to highlight these. Push down the remaining non-important elements below the fold.
Undoubtedly, people will notice the elements that are present above the fold and they will take an action. So, now we can say that whitespace above the fold is not a disaster but a blessing.
Now, you know why whitespace needs to be included above the fold!
When it comes to simplicity, there is another topic of debate!
A lot of people say that keeping your site simple is good.
But, there is another section of people who do not mind whether your site is simple or complicated, all they want is information.
A good example could be the comparison between the Google and Yahoo sites.
Google is very simple, but Yahoo brings to you all the information it can manage to find it from over the web.
If I ask you which would you prefer, my audience would be divided into two sections. One would go with Google and the other section would prefer Yahoo. But, let us say the whitespace has some charm around it that cannot be ignored. Don’t you agree with me?
Most of us prefer Google for the same reason and one of the reasons maybe many among us do not check out Yahoo pages when in doubt!
While we are discussing the use of whitespace across website designs, there have been a lot of controversies in the world of web designing that support their implementation, and there is also another group of experts who do not approve of white space.
I will share the details of what I have found out from my research of white space across the web:
Effects of Whitespace over Web Designing
At micro level, Whitespace can greatly assist one to enhance or destroy the legibility of a specific web page. If you have some web content over your website, then you must ensure that it has pretty small font that consumes minimal Whitespaces. You can conveniently increase the tracking or leading for making the text readable.
If you have a look at the print version of some Wall Street journals, then you shall notice that the paper has multiple columns of texts with very minimal amount of margin spaces in between them. However, the margins and spaces that are given in-between the columns make the texts to be readable enough.
At macro level, Whitespaces help in conveying a sense of down market quality and elegance for the created design. The greater the Whitespace the better and posh shall the design appear.
If you ever had a look over the advertisements in any of the expensive magazines, then you shall have noticed that maximum of the ads comprise of very minimal amount of negative spaces. The texts are small enough to leave maximum space for the pictures and other impressive materials. Apart from a magazine design, you shall spot blocks in direct mail ads. They have multiple images and very petty negative spaces.
What kind of a page do you like to read? Honestly, speaking we all has our attention grabbed towards a page that has a fair amount of whitespace between the paragraphs and sentences.
Now, tell me would you like to read a page that has no spacing left between the sentences and paragraphs?
Even if we try to read such pages for the subject interest that coaxes us to go through it, after sometime we feel annoyed for no reason as it creates a lot of strain to the eyes and head.
Whitespace between texts and paragraphs gives the reader a better understanding of what they are trying to read and understand.
4. Grabs attention:
It automatically helps to grab the attention of the people who visit your website. If there is any specific component such as an image or a text that needs the reader’s attention, then, choose to put some whitespace around it.
You will have you reader’s attention!
It is very useful when you are trying to sell something on your site.
For instance, if you have a product image or maybe if you are selling a discount coupon, add some whitespace around it and you will easily attract the people’s attention.
It seems white space helps in speeding up interaction!
It actually helps the user to know where they should be going and what action to take next as we discussed in #4.
Whitespace leads the users to their destination while giving them a reason to act!
When you have a lot of things stuffed on to your website remember you are knowingly or unknowingly annoying your visitors.
They might be frustrated to such a level, where they decide to leave your website and be off with the site of your competitor.
Try including lesser elements and also, highlight what is important! This you can do by including whitespace around the important elements.
In fact, this has been one of the ways that designers have been trying to prevent distraction and grab the visitor attention around things that are important.
6. CTA’s and whitespaces are closely related:
As we have already discussed in #4 and #5, whitespace plays a major role in grabbing attention!
So, when it is implemented around a CTA that needs user or visitor attention, don’t you think they will be tempted to take an action?
A designer who is experienced at designing great links and tabs that grab user attention by implementing graphics and flashes is great at work, but to add some cream to the cake, you can ensure that your user will have his attention by allowing whitespace around these important objects.
7. Color of your whitespace:
Whitespace was once called as negative space and still people refer to it as the same.
It is the space where there is no content.
And, when there is lesser content, how do you ensure that people stay on your website.
The colorfulness of your whitespace will attract attention. Trust me it works, as it is one of the tried-and-proven techniques that people have been implementing so far.
8. Lesser distraction:
When you do not have many elements to include on your website, what do you do?
Include whitespace on your website.
Rather than annoying your people by including a lot of components on your website, it would be good if you can reduce these extraterrestrial elements and add some whitespace around the elements that you are including on your website.
9. It looks clean:
When you add a lot of elements on your website, it is fine, but unappealing and also, doesn’t look trustworthy.
It looks like you have been adding up a lot of things to ensure people will like your site and whatever you are trying to do.
Also, your site takes a lot of time to load when there are a lot of components added to it.
Why make it overloaded under stress when you can have it done with ease?
Keep it clean and add a few elements to your site and the remaining space will be taken up by the whitespace that will attract attention.
So, do you have a reason for using whitespace in your web designs?
Then, share it with us.
Do you believe in letting in whitespace while designing? If so, share the reason with us!
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