There is too much white space on my website, so it looks empty.

My client emailed me last week saying that the design for his website I have prepared has too much white. He stated that it looks empty like he has nothing to say and ordered to decrease the amount of white space. Was it any good decision?

White space which we are talking here is a standard design technique allowing to concentrate the viewer eyes on the particular element without any distraction. The user will have to look at the item because there is nothing else around, simple.

nike trainers screenshot
Nike presents their products on white space

Still not convinced?

White space around you

Have you been to an art gallery recently, or museum? If so, you could notice that one piece of art is displayed on the wall at a certain distance from another one. Thanks to that your eyes can focus on the item you are viewing.

Art pieces presented in a large white space
Art pieces presented in a large white space

The similar principle you can find in the interior design. When the room was designed in the minimalist or Scandinavian style, you will find large white or grey empty areas with one or two striking piece of furniture, decoration elements or design tweak. It’s all to create a nice neutral background for the main feature point of the interior.

minimal interior white
Minimal interior with striking chair and coffee table

I think you get the idea now.

White space helps to focus

Your website, similarly to the gallery or the interior, has certain elements which you want to bring particular attention to. Whether it’s your product you want to promote, a message to convey, a button you want the user to click or the form to fill, you should lead their eyes towards that element.

How to do it effectively? By using white space.

Bear in mind that by calling it white space it doesn’t mean the area have to be white. You can use any other colour matching your website’s style as long as it contrasting to the element you want to highlight. White, grey and black usually work the best, but feel free to experiment and test various styles.

ajax systems minimal website screenshot
White space does not have to be white. Ajax systems present their products on the large black backdrop.

Boost conversion with minimal design

Psychology studies and eye tracking tests have proven that website which is filled with the content from edge to edge are less likely to convert. Users feel distracted by surrounded text and images cannot focus on what is important. They feel overwhelmed and leave.

The website with significant white space generates better conversion and lower bounce rate. In simple words – users spend more time on them. Text with white space is more readable, has more air. For the user, it’s easier to scan it and locate the relevant content that way.

My favourite example is medium.com – the publishing platform. Every article is beautifully designed, and ample white space surrounds the text. Thanks to that reading, even the longest article, is much easier. Lack of distraction makes me feel comfortable and concentrate on the reading thoroughly.

medium.com article screenshot
Articles on medium.com are great example of the good use of white space

Also, Apple does excellent work on presenting their products in the white space. Looking at MacBook, you want to have it.

apple Macbook pro website screenshot
Apple website use white space to present their products in the best way

White space for better user experience

In a word of conclusion I want you to tell one more thing. Bear in mind that your business website is not for your pleasure but for converting visitors into clients. It’s not about what you like or don’t. It’s about what works. The website has a function. It can be to sell, generate leads or inform. But in any of these scenarios, the centre of your operation is the user. Make they life easier and do not make your website clunky by removing a white space.

I believe you have chosen a good designer for your project. If so, then trust him or her. They know their profession. You pay for the expertise, skills and knowledge. If they design with white space, it probably a good way to go. Would you discuss the car mechanic the way he’s fixing your BMW’s exhaust?

And if by any reason you are not happy with your designer, here is my email, I’m happy to talk to you.