In creative design, does white space matter? Yes it does.
All too often we come across design projects where industry expertise and personal preference collide. One of the common discussions that I have with clients is the usage of white space.
When designers talk about whitespace, they actually mean negative space. In other words, the space between screen elements. It does not have to be ‘white’ in color, but it mostly is. This space may be a color or texture but either way, it is space within any design — newspaper, advertisement, website, application, magazine or any relevant form of media with text and pictures — that doesn’t contain any screen element and won’t attract the attention of the user or reader. On a webpage, it is between buttons, images, links, and text. You might come across a client that may consider it a waste of space, but it is quite necessary. This begs the question — Why is it so important?*
As the lead web designer for C3 Media, I am going to share some of my problems and solutions to this reoccurring topic. We are going to start by understanding the types of white space that is used in design and why.
This treatment of white space can be used between lines and paragraphs. This also includes the space between grid images and that used to separate menu links.
Macro whitespace is the large space between major layout elements, aiding the viewer to dissect sections of your content. Macro whitespace exists to the right and the left of most website content as margins, as well as between website content blocks, helping define rows and sections.
Why use micro and macro whitespace?
Micro and macro whitespace has a direct impact on content legibility. It has been proven that marginal whitespace surrounding paragraphs affects the user’s reading speed and comprehension. If the text falls outside of the margins, people read it more slowly. You want to get your message to come across clearly and quickly. One metric we like to review regarding white space and website traffic is bounce rate.
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What is bounce rate?
The usage of white space can affect your bounce rate drastically. It can cause potential customers to leave your website without giving you a chance to get your message across. First impressions are lasting impressions. This online facing storefront is your opportunity to emulate your quality, marketing goals and company standards as a whole.