tidy living room

Instead of me writing you a 500 word blog on the meaning of whitespace, I’m going to apply it to decorating your living room. Stay with me on this, I promise it’ll make sense.

Firstly, we need to imagine that our website is also our living room. We need to adopt the same thought process we go through when decorating our living room to how we approach a website design. The space available, colour scheme, furniture and anything cool we’ve seen on Pinterest, to name a few.

There are purposes to your website just like there are with your living room. With a living room, you want to come in, find the remote and put the TV on, turn the fire on or even do yoga in front of the window. Whatever floats your boat. With a website, you have a list of purposes as well. We discuss these with our clients in our creative design meetings.

The big question is, what do you want your website to do?

  • Increase sales
  • Increase enquiries
  • Inform and educate
  • Create a stronger brand

These are a few of the most common answers we receive.

Whitespace is often used as a negative comment and it can apply to a vast amount of instances, not just design.There’s nothing negative about white space, although, like anything in life sometimes you can have too much. Whitespace allows a website design to breathe, the same way you’d let light into your living room. You need to create an environment that is easy to follow, easily digestible and most important of all, have a great user journey and user experience.

I’ll make a comparison now, the first image you see is a living room that can be described as having ’whitespace’.

When you walk into your living room and you just want to sit on the sofa and watch TV, you want to be able to find the TV remote instantly. The same way your website visitors want to come onto your website and find exactly what their after within the first five seconds. Online attention spans are decreasing, no one has the patience to wait anymore. So don’t make them.

I want you to imagine that the image above is your living room. There’s a lot of space, you have plenty of room to walk around and interact with what’s available. You can easily make use of what’s been placed in the room, there’s a sofa to sit on, TV to watch and a coffee table to put your drink on. Does this need to be any more complicated? That thought process needs to be applied to a website, what do you want your visitor to do and should you distract them with anything other than that? Yes there’s some fancy wallpaper and nice splashes of mustard and grey, but they’re just the bells and whistles (just like our creative input on your new website design), but the real hard work has gone into making the most of the space available.

The space in the room is the same as ‘whitespace’ in a design. It’s used to help create a clear path for your visitor and make it easier for them to interact with what you’re putting in front of them. If you start to clutter your website with unnecessary information you’re going to make it harder for your user to find exactly what they’re after. Just imagine trying to find that TV remote in the picture below.

untidy living room

Now imagine your website visitor trying to find the page they need on this site.

chaotic home page of website

To summarise, it would be best to compare whitespace to the two room images used in the blog. Would you find it easier to read content on a website that is clearly organised with plenty of room to breathe or a website that is crammed full of information with no real user journey or organisation?

Thanks for reading, Jack.