The Importance of White Space in Web Design
Many people are surprised when they see the mockup for a web design and instead of blocks of text and images all crammed together, there is a great deal of blank space. It’s not uncommon for them to assume that the blank space means the website developers didn’t know how to compile enough information to fill the space.
Web designers refer to these gaps as white space and, in many ways, they represent important website real estate. The way the white space is used is one of the first things visitors use to determine if they want to explore your website or if they click past it.
The truth is that blank space is a crucial part of web design. While you don’t want several inches of space between blocks of content, your website should have generous gaps between paragraphs and a nice border that separates images from the text.
The most important thing white space does is improve the readability of your website. Pages become more readable when there is a small amount of space between the paragraphs. That’s one of the reasons so many book publishers now print books with larger text and more white space because those are the types of books readers are likely to purchase. The increased number of sales generated from the white space more than justifies the increased printing and shipping costs.
Webpage visitors who encounter a massive block of text that has little to no white space will quickly become overwhelmed and close the website. When that same block of text is broken into many paragraphs and a little white space is inserted between those paragraphs, the visitor will read all the content and then either explore your website or enter your sales funnel.
The rule of thumb for adding additional white space to your website is to limit sentences to under 21 words and make sure the average paragraph is only about three sentences long. Using bulletin points is another great way to generate more white space.
The correct use of white space does more than simply make your website more readable and therefore more visitor-friendly. A knowledgeable web design team knows how to use white space to attract attention to a block of extra important content and to subtly guide your visitors to the products and services you most want them to notice.