Monday, August 4, 2014

Whitespace should be strategic

This article is a reminder of the importance of strategically incorporating whitespace into our design decisions.

In some cases, we see designs consisting of too much or not enough empty space. Insufficient or inappropriate whitespace can lead to…

•  Difficulty in skimming and scanning information
•  Difficulty in differentiating section groupings
•  Difficulty in determining main calls to action
•  Lowered perception of the design of the website
•  Anxiety, confusion, frustration, disorientation, and possibly anger

One scientific principle that we tend to follow is known as the Gestalt principle of proximity which says that things that are close to one another are perceived to be more related than things that are spaced further apart. When users see all the content as one long run-on, it is difficult for them to differentiate the related information. 

This proximity problem can be visually dominating over other screen prioritization techniques (for example: font-weight, color, and/or size).

Consider strategically incorporating whitespacing as part of the design decision making process. It is best to make this decision rather than allowing the design to make the decision for you.

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