Whitespace in Website Design

Whitespace in Website Design

In a world where we’re surrounded by information, it has become extremely important for web designers to have clear thinking about their website design and layouts. Their aim should be delivering a readable and easy to understand page that easily gets viewers attention, whether they’re browsing products on a shopping cart, surfing a blog or just reading news.

We need to learn that a simple layout always works and keep users interested. Instead of filling your website with too many images, colors and other elements, just keep it simple.

Whitespaces are really helpful in this regard. They allow you to create a simple and elegant design. They are one of the most important elements of web design that contribute to improved readability and website performance. But what are they?


Whitespace is empty space (or negative space) on the website. Although the term refers to white space, it’s not necessary for the area in question to be white only. It’s just the empty space around the elements in the webpage layout.

Whitespace tends to come in many forms like space in between images or graphics, margins, columns and even lines of text. While it appears to be made of nothing, it should not be really treated in that manner.

Treating it so, can make you miss real opportunities of designing a truly aesthetic and appealing website.

Benefits of incorporating whitespace in web design

• Make a brand/website luxurious
Increased white space demands the designer to craft a brand message more smartly, as it needs to be embedded in a more restrictive space. Also, users will view the website with more white space as the one whose content is more critical than its screen space. Consequently, a brand seems more luxurious because it is sacrificing more screen space and instead focusing on content messaging.

Big brands always use this technique to better highlight their content like deals and promotions for example. Even the brand name has sufficient white space between its characters.

• Improve readability
The smart use of white space on website can boost readability and legibility. If the text is squashed (more text is made to fit in a given space), it can get in the way of comfortable reading, leading to bad user experience. More white space allows easy reading of text, adding to comprehension.

Simply writing great content for your website is not going to work. You need to present it in a clear format by including whitespace. White space should also be embedded between different sections of content. This not only improves the reading experience, but helps breaking up content into various parts for easy grasping of information.

• Makes colors more vibrant on the website
It is one of the simplest and most direct benefits of using white space. White space makes other colors stand out on the website and appear brighter. This makes the site quite catchy in the eyes of the user by emphasizing the depth and intensity of the colors.

Use of white space by search engines

The search engines like Google and Yahoo are big advocates of white space. They clearly understand that loud backgrounds and advertisements can distract the users while searching for a particular topic. Therefore, white space dominates their search pages, especially Google’s. Yahoo, though, includes a long menu bar at the top; the idea is almost the same.

Hence, there is a need to make the web designers understand that they are not required to embed each and every element or color into the webpage. Instead, they should give emphasis to white space in their design that can readily create a powerful impact on the users. Whitespace, if used smartly, can be used to highlight brand’s message, enhance readability and legibility and make the color scheme quite radiant.

In fact, a good approach to using whitespace is to think as a user. More specifically, you need to put yourself in the user’s place. For instance, ask yourself what you would like to read. Would you like to read squeezed or well-spaced content? Would you like to read properly organized information that is divided into columns or clusters of information thrown away at several places? You will yourself get the answer.

As such, whitespace is getting high popularity lately, making it a trend that will continue for long, as can be envisioned in the given scenario.