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Importance And Power Of White Space In UX Design



UX Design

One of the most significant aspects of modern UX design is the utilization of white space in the pages. This is not just to create a more aesthetic value but it is ideally the key to success and to provide a better user experience.

While space in the interfaces is also known as a negative space but there is nothing negative in it, literally. To all good visual artists negative space has a lot of importance because of several reasons:

  • The empty area draws more attention towards it
  • It accentuates the visual appeal as well as the actual subject and
  • It makes the site stand out without itself standing out so much.

Ideally, when you incorporate too many elements in the web pages it not only makes the page look cluttered but also has a lot of negative effects such as:

  • The actual meaning and the intent of the text or message is lost forcing the users searching for answers to their questions and solutions to their issues
  • Since all these elements may not be necessary it will reduce the value of the page as well as the site on the whole
  • The unnecessary elements will take a lot of space thereby limiting your chances to put in the most important information and most importantly
  • It will slow down the loading of the pages which will eventually result in loss of organic traffic to your site.

In short, when you incorporate too many elements in a page it will result in each of these elements competing with the other for attention thereby pushing the actual subject far from the limelight.

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On the contrary, when you use the white space more judiciously and prudently in interaction design, it will serve a couple of most important functions apart from increasing the aesthetic value.

Improving comprehension

In fact, better use of the white space in User Experience Design has proved to increase engagement and comprehension by as much as 20%.

  • You can do this by reducing the clutter from the page and using the white space between on the left and right margins as well as that between the paragraphs more wisely and properly.
  • Typically, the skill making proper use of this negative space lies in how well you can provide your users with a comprehensible and consumable amount of content.

For this you will need to strip away the extraneous details after knowing what these actually are. First you will have to break down the white space into four specific elements such as:

  • The visual white space that includes the surrounding icons, graphics, and images
  • The layout white space that will include the margins on both sides and top and bottom, the padding’s, and the gutters
  • The text white space comprising of the spacing between lines and letters and lastly
  • The content white space that includes the space that separates the columns of the text.

You can strike a proper and nice balance with the medium considering all these four elements of white space by following a few specific steps that includes:

  • Thinking about the goal of the users from the perspective of interaction standpoint
  • Making sure that your users can access the interesting content as quickly as possible
  • Placing the content at the front and center of the homepage as that will immediately facilitate the goal of the users and
  • Ensuring that you add emphasis to your content by using plenty of white space on either side of it.
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Also make sure that there is sufficient space around the visuals and between the lines of copy. It is also required to ensure that the padding around the images are uniform.

Creates mental maps

Proper use of white space will help the users to create mental maps adding to the comprehension aspect of the pages. This can be achieved easily in the following process:

  • Make sure that minimum amount of white space is used between the content stream and the top navigation. This is because both perform similar function which is to drive the user deeper into the content. It is for this reason these need to be grouped together.
  • Also make sure that the right side navigation is used more for creating or saving content. More white space will actually separate it from the actual content stream. In such cases, the white space will help the users to assign diverse functionalities to these different parts of the interface.
  • If you put in additional spacing between the lines of the text it will also improve the readability arte of the content.

In short, these processes will meet with the most desired aspect that the users care the most when they click through to read an article: the content itself.

Clarifying relationships

Also remember that according to the Law of Proximity, images that are placed near to each other seem to appear similar. It is all about how an individual organize the visual information. It is this behavioral observation and difference that asks for difference in application in interaction design especially when it comes to the input forms. Ideally, there are two important things to remember in this respect:

  • Placing of labels – This must be closest to the fields that are relevant to the subject and object. This will ensure faster and clearer communication of information. It is seen that when a user has even the slightest hesitation it eventually hurts form completion. In such situations, simply adjusting the spacing will increase the level of confidence in the user and facilitate filling out the form which in turn will improve the completion rate.
  • Group related topics – These must be placed together to make it more meaningful, especially if you are dealing with long forms. This will make things look less overwhelming reducing the chances of the users quitting your site before completing then desired task.
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Lastly, it is important that you know that it is the limits of human memory and attention that provides the power of white space. Ideally, white spaces will reduce their strain or “cognitive load.”

Contributed by: Karen Anthony

Karen Anthony is a Web Designer. She shares her web design tips with friends. She is passionate about trendy Gadgets, Technology. She loves to spent time with nature.

I'm Jitender Sharma. I'm Founder of TheNextHint.Com. I'm a entrepreneur and internet marketer with over 5 years of experience in Search Engine Optimization, Creative Writer and Digital Marketing Consultant.

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