White space serves an important role in the web layout by providing an interface for readers to interact with various aspects of the web content (Laudon & Laudon, 2013). The most important aspect is that it improves reading of the web content by allowing users time to pause for the next content. Designers have always sought to maximize the use of the white space in the context of promoting business and engaging users of web content to interact more with various features on the web.
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Golombisky & Hagen (2013) point to the usefulness of the white space in improving content visibility. Users on site have the opportunity to predict what they are reading, which enriches their understanding, thus providing better user experience. One of the challenges that busy readers of web content face are the utilization of the minimum time during web interaction. Nevertheless, a sizeable amount of white space will allow easy access and improve understanding.
The ability to make content legible has also been highlighted as important in allowing content to be around white spaces. It is seen to promote legibility, an effect that can equally be achieved by increasing the size of the font. Further information that is crowded does not appeal to readers of web content, and this is often improved by allowing white space that improves visibility and superiority of the content (Laudon & Laudon).
White space promotes efficiency in interaction by affording the user an opportunity to navigate fast. This is likely to suit first time users who are often threatened with numerous information surrounding content. Experienced and busy users would always want to save time; hence, white spaces allow them to navigate freely and fast. Moreover, white space leads the user to pages and specific content, thus providing clear directions for reaching the final destination.
Users that are in use of the web usually ignore banners and graphics. However, white space comes in handy to help users in recognizing such banners and graphics as well make them save time in navigation. The availability of cluttered information prevents better comprehension; however, the use of white space has promoted less crowding of information, thus leading to less time being spent loading items.
The choice of the amount of information contained in a webpage is not often easy; hence, users should be viewed as people who choose only the content that suits them. This would restrict time spent visiting the web page, and the competition faced when web developers seek to heap all their content on a page. This calls for the need for balance, which can gratefully be improved by utilization of white space (Laudon & Laudon, 2013).
Reliability is judged by the first impression. Users usually gauge web content based on the amount of interaction. For instance, more appealing web design is judged by the level of sophistication. Placing information in a clutter would lead to suspicion on the validity of the website. It can thus be said that white space affords the web designer an opportunity to use space well (Holzschlag, 2004).
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According to Golombisky & Hagen (2013), eligibility counts; thus, it is important to ensure that the design is lean and comprehensible. The author gives an account of the Economist paper’s content that presented information as cluttered and less appealing to readers. This was later improved by applying the effect of white space that increased the appeal for the paper without affecting the quality or quantity of the content.
Sophistication is an aspect that has seen brand managers position their product to drive more appeal through the use of several interactive features. This involves increased use of white space in marketing to pass a message to readers about the worth and need to invest in the brand. Active white space helps in taking readers through a reading journey by guiding them from one aspect to another. This helps in stressing a point or referring to a group of information that may not be easily accessible to readers. A balance is usually created by applying the effect of passive white space, which helps in maintaining harmony and creating designs that are appealing to the eye (Holzschlag, 2004).
McLeod (2013) points to the relevance of utilizing white space left in a television broadcast. Google and Microsoft have invested heavily in pioneering projects where they seek to exploit negative space. This refers to white space to provide wireless broadband to consumers at affordable rates compared to the cost offered by other players in the mobile telecommunications industry. Players in the industry have said that the move is likely to cut the cost of internet connectivity in new markets.
Major players in the broadcasting industries have been reluctant to accommodate innovation in white space, their argument being that making the market-liberal to other players would offer them an undue advantage. White spaces would help in setting a new online market for the first time, which is likely to impact socially and economically on business potential in these areas.
Golombisky, K., & Hagen, R. (2013). White Space is Not Your Enemy: A Beginner’s Guide to Communicating Visually through Graphic, Web and Multimedia. Oxford, England: Taylor & Francis.
Holzschlag, M. (2004). 250 HTML and Web Design Secrets. NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons.
Laudon, K., & Laudon, J. (2013). Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm. NY, USA: Pearson Education, Limited.
McLeod, D. (2013). How ‘white spaces’ could change the world. Web.