Why White Space is Important in Web Design

Information overload is a massive problem when it comes to online marketing and web design. Just because you can bombard your users with a vast amount of information telling them why your products are so great, it doesn’t mean you should do so. You want to make the purchase process easy for someone, and attacking them with advertisements from every available angle is not contributing to that all-important conversion.

In fact, overwhelming web design tends to lead to one thing only: a higher bounce rate. People leave the page because it’s too cluttered and messy. You might compare the situation to a physical shop with so many special offers, adverts and products crammed onto the shelves that it’s difficult to even move around, let alone make an informed decision, take your chosen product over to the till and pay for it. An eCommerce website that fills every pixel with graphics and information persuading you to place an order is probably having the same effect.

White space is the solution to this problem. Contrary to what you might think, empty space on a web page is far from wasted. That’s actually a valuable use for your limited screen space, since an empty area only draws more attention to what you want people to focus on. After all, there is only one thing on the screen you want to guide your customer towards: the “buy” button. Anything else is a distraction at best, and a reason to abandon the site completely at worst.

You will most likely be able to incorporate white space (also referred to by designers as “negative space”) in various places within your webpage, depending on your design. It doesn’t even have to be white, rather blank in the context of your colour scheme, although white does have the highest chance of working if we’re looking again at colour psychology. As well as having large blank areas on your page, like the borders to the left and right of your product listing, you might also consider increasing the space between the elements on your page. Packing things into a compact space can make them less clear at a glance and draw less attention to your crucial buttons and information.

On the whole, white space is associated with a higher level of elegance and sophistication compared to a site that packs too much into a small space and leaves no room for users to breathe (or take in information). Creating a lightweight and airy website design usually encourages people to relax, read and understand the products on offer at their own pace, and this in turn leads to better conversions on the whole.

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