Unfortunately, whitespace is often seen as empty space and, therefore, a waste of screen real estate. However, the truth is that whitespace is one of the most valuable parts of your design. Whitespace is an important element of design for good reason. If used well and correctly, it can transform a design and provide many advantages to your website.
When deployed properly, white space can give your design a sense of balance. The white space found between your lines of copy can improve legibility and offer your user a better experience consuming the content found on your website. Too much information or visual data crammed into a small, busy space can cause cognitive fatigue, and our brains have difficulty absorbing anything at all. It’s information overload at its very worst.
To illustrate how effective whitespace is at helping our brains process information in print, check out the example below from Digital Ink:
In fact, classic research by Human Factors International found that using whitespace to highlight or emphasize important elements on a website increased visitor comprehension by almost 20%.
Whitespace design is characterized by what is not there. When it comes to websites which make generous use of white space design, often what is most noticeable is the simplicity of the design.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that white space design means that everything is white. Far from it, white space design can make use of any color, albeit sparingly. To put it simply, white space design is design that is stripped back and an exercise in economy of expression.
Examples of good whitespace design: