Nothing makes me want to close my browser tab faster than a website littered with graphics, ads and text all jammed in there together, filling up the entire page. Like with print, using white space online is crucial — especially since web readers’ eyes are likely to be taxed more from reading a web page than a printed one.
Why use white space online?
Besides helping your page look clean and professional, white space organizes your content and helps readers prioritize and process it. If all of your content is lumped together with no spacing, readers are more likely to get confused or overwhelmed and leave the site, frustrated. And, used effectively, white space lets you tell readers which items are most important and increases the likelihood they will pay attention to them.
Easy ways to use white space
Even if graphic design isn’t your strong suit, you can still implement white space to maximize the readability of your site. Relatively easy ways to use white space on your website include:
- Defining your margins. Text that runs too close to the edges of the browser window is difficult to read, as are lines of text that span the entire width of the site. Break up your pages with defined margins.
- Separating text into chunks of bullet points. Web readers are scanners — many times they arrive at your site looking for particular information, not to sit and read a novel. Breaking the text up into smaller, easier-to-digest chunks will help your visitors read faster and find what they are looking for, leading to an overall better experience.
- Spacing between lines of text, as well as between images and text. Even if your text is broken up into bullet points, lines of text that are too close together vertically are difficult to handle. And if you have images interspersed with text, be sure to add space around the images so the text doesn’t bump up against them.
If you aren’t sure if your website uses white space effectively, start browsing other sites to see which catch your eye and which make your eyes go numb. It might seem simplistic, but white space can make all the difference in whether someone utilizes your website — and possibly your company.