White Space In Web Design: Complete Guide (2021)

Do you know there is a phobia called kenophobia, the fear of voids or empty spaces?

For designers, it is the fear of whitespace. People with this phobia tend to fill up every part of the canvas with unnecessary detail, so there is no room for white space.

You may hear that from clients also when they say something like “There is too much white space here, let’s add some elements”

I am not saying you should add too much whitespace but that you have a reasonable amount which serves a role in your design

You may associate white space with being empty, but the right amount of white space can create a readable and enjoyable website experience. 

To understand how to use whitespace in web design, let’s talk about what it is first.


What Is White Space?

White space, in web design terms, is the empty parts of a canvas that are not occupied by any content. It’s important to have white space because it allows people to breathe and take breaks while they explore your website.

Websites with no whitespace can also be visually overwhelming for visitors and may cause anxiety which makes them feel like they need to click on everything at once just in case something interesting pops up.

The right amount of white spaces helps create a more readable experience for users when reading text online. 


Why Use White Space

White space is an important part of web design. It creates a sense of order and unity, as well as making your content easier to read.

Readability

White space can help create a more readable experience for users. The spacing provides ample room between words, letters, and paragraphs so readers don’t get tired eyes too quickly from trying to read lines that go all the way to the edge of their screen.

When you have a large block of text, white space allows readers to see where one paragraph ends and another begins.

This makes reading much less daunting than trying to read long passages without breaks in between sentences or paragraphs.

Comprehend Information

White space allows people’s brains and eyes time to rest while still being able to see information on the page they’re viewing without distraction or clutter. This gives the reader a chance to process the information and comprehend it before moving on.

This is important in web design to ensure that information and links are easy to read and understand.

Proper white space allows viewers time both mentally and visually between chunks of content or offers them an opportunity to digest the information.

Highlight Content

White space can be used to highlight important content because it’s so sparse. This may include subheadings, captions on images or videos, and highlighted links as well.

This is also a great way to draw the reader into an article by making what you want them to read stand out visually from everything else they might pass while browsing.

It can be used to highlight important points or call attention to key text that readers may want to remember or refer back to later in their research. This is also a great way to make your website stand out from the competition.

Creativity

It creates a clean canvas for designers which gives them lots of creative freedom. They can use white space to create dramatic and artistic layouts.

A good example is the “McDonald’s” logo, which features a large letter M enclosed by two identical but smaller letters to form an unequal distribution of white space. This makes it look like one big word rather than three separate words.”

Visual Hierarchy

White space also has a lot of psychological benefits. People tend to focus on what’s in front and above them, so spacing between blocks is important for creating a visual hierarchy.

Hierarchy helps readers know where they should be looking at all times by giving more attention to certain content and less attention to other information that may not be as important.

White space helps you create a clear “map” on the page so that users can navigate with ease.

Visual hierarchy is also crucial for communicating the level of importance and type of information that’s being conveyed on a website.

Scanning

White space is also crucial for people scanning information. When there is more whitespace, the eye can move from one side to another with ease and without confusion.

This allows readers to quickly scan a lot of text efficiently. Think about how your eyes naturally jump between lines while reading; it’s because white space enables this natural process!

If you want someone who is skimming through content or trying to find something specific on a page – they’ll have an easier time finding what they’re looking for if the layout includes ample spacing.

Visual scanning will help make sure that no relevant details are missed by readers when navigating the website.


How To Plan White Space In Web Design

It is important to plan your white space before you start designing, so make sure you sketch it out on paper first! This will give you an important visual representation of how the white space will appear on the screen.

Early in a design project, do not be afraid to experiment with different levels of white space by adding new blocks or deleting others as you go along.

Some of the most important considerations when planning white space in web design are:

Paragraph Spacing

White space makes it easier to read large blocks of text and reduces eye strain. Use spacing between paragraphs to break ideas into smaller digestible information.

Alignment

White space also helps with alignment because clearly defined spaces can help organize content on a page. This not only looks cleaner but will be more readable as well. 

By allowing for margins around images or graphics you create an illusion that things are spaced further apart than they are. The same technique works wonders for aligning columns so readers don’t get lost while reading through different levels of information.

Image Placement

Images take up valuable space that could be used for text or other content. We can place only necessary images on the website and free up white space to make the page more engaging.

Margins

We can add margins between different content and elements to help readers understand the page clearly. They can scan down to find their next paragraph while not feeling like they’re running out of breath.

Letter spacing

This is a simple way to add white space without adding any extra margins or padding on the sides of your text. Simply tighten up the letter spacing between each letter so there’s no room for letters, but plenty of space in between sentences! 

You’ll find that with this technique you have managed to create more breathing room while still being able to read everything at once. (This is also known as kerning)

Graphic Space

Sometimes all you need are some blank spaces where graphics can be placed throughout your web design project and not just near one another. 

There are ways around placing images together too closely by using what we call “Graphic White” which makes it look like an image has been placed but is just space.


Brilliant Website Examples Of White Space Usage

AirBnB

The white space on AirBNB’s website iterates the message about how they can help the users. The design guides the focus towards the message. 

Clear background and white accents help to give the text a complete focus. White space is used as it helps the reader target what they want which includes the message box design.

The message box has a white background so that the text stands out better.

Apple

Apple’s products are a work of art, which is exemplified in their use of white space. The visitor only has one focus at any given time as there are no distractions.

They also take advantage of contrasting colors from various areas such as backgrounds, messages, links, etc.

This makes it simple for readers to know what they’re looking at quickly without being distracted by other things around them.

Squarespace

Squarespace uses few UI elements on its homepage, but they are intuitive and comprehensive.

The large white space at the top of a web page draws attention to the value proposition and links. The next paragraph shows what is available in that menu bar, getting progressively narrower until it reaches the end with CTA on how to create a website.

A button for ‘Get Started’ greets visitors at the top right corner of this section as well.

Medium

Medium utilizes the whitespace on its platform to compel readers to keep scrolling down the page.

Medium does this by giving a sense of “social proof” or how many other people are reading a post, commented on it, and clapped for it.

The center column also presents an intriguing cover photo and title that is designed to entice the reader to scroll further down.

Google

Google’s homepage is almost entirely white space, and its design has been highly effective. It is about as simple a design as you can get.

Users are immediately able to see the search bar and know where they need to go to find what they want.

The site also employs white space by using large fonts that help create a sense of simplicity. This allows users who are scrolling through different tabs or pages not to feel overwhelmed with information on an already cluttered screen.

In addition, Google uses white space for its logos at the top left corner of their page so there isn’t anything distracting from them when scanning down the webpage list.


Challenge With White Space In Web Design

The challenges associated with white space are that it can sometimes be hard to find balance. 

It is important not to overdo the amount of whitespace or use too little because then there will either be no negative spacing. It means that the image’s emphasis would look clumped together in one place, or too much positive spacing which causes parts on a page to have equal importance.

It also takes time and practice before you can start using whitespace effectively as discussed earlier!


White Space Web Design Tips

The following are some tips on how we can use whitespace in web design:

Tip #01

Use margins and padding to create breathing room for your content.

Tip #02

Create a layout that centers around white space by using negative space wisely.

Tip #03

Add more or less text, images, etc., to add a variety of their size throughout the page.

Tip #04

Hide unnecessary parts of your webpage with CSS such as hiding navigation bars at different screen widths if they’re not needed on smaller screens.

Tip #05

Whitespace is also used in typography–for example, you can set the spacing between letters (tracking) and words (kerning).

 Tip #06

Spacing can also be used as a design element, whether it’s breathing room in your layout or using negative space to create white shapes.

Tip #07

White space is an opportunity for creativity–try adding textures and gradients that contrast with the colors of the text!

 Tip #08

White space is a design element, and like any other design elements should be used sparingly.”

Tip #09

Negative white space can help draw attention to an important part of the page or message you’re trying to convey.

Tip #10

Sometimes adding small amounts of whitespace between words adds interest in typography–try it out!”


Conclusion

White space is the space on a page that doesn’t have any design elements. It can be used to help readers understand how content falls with each other or for one element of a layout to stand out more than others.

We should use it when pictures and words are competing with each other for attention from viewers.

It’s important not just because it will make everything look better but also because if you don’t give people enough room they might get overwhelmed by all the information at once.

Remember, at Pixel Street – Web Design Company we help our clients create websites that are up to date with the latest design trends. 

We also offer a free web consultation for you to find out more about designing your website – feel free to reach out if there’s anything we can do 🙂