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Distance makes the heart grow fonder

116 & West

The importance of whitespace in UX

Why is there so much empty space?

Whitespace is often a point of contention between designers and clients. Frequently viewed as a waste of precious real estate, whitespace gets a bad rap for being a frivolous design choice. While it is easy on the eyes, it also plays a very real part in the success or failure of your website.

Directing the viewer’s attention

Based on data from Tony Haile of Chatbeat, 55% of website visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on your website. That means you have only 15 seconds to engage your viewer before they move along to your competitor.
According to Hicks Law, the time it takes to make a decision increases with the number and complexity of choices. Given we only have 15 seconds of the viewer’s attention, we want to make the call to action as clear and simple to find as possible. Through the use of whitespace in the example below, the eye is drawn directly to the point of interest.
Whitespace in design

Clear Relationships

The Law of Proximity states that objects that are near each other tend to be grouped together. Without proper spacing between elements, the viewer can become confused which labels and sections are intended to be viewed together.
Relationships in design
In the first example, it is unclear which graphics represent which paragraph.

Legibility

Seemingly simple things like paragraph margins (space around your paragraph) and line spacing (space between lines) can play a big part in the readability of your site. According to a research study conducted by Wichita State University, proper spacing between paragraphs and in the left and right margins can increase comprehension up to 20%.
Legibility in design
Consider these design tips for your website! Check out some of our recent web design projects.