I just finished a new website and reviewing it with the client before launching I was pleased (and surprised) that she said, “I like that there’s a lot of white space.”
White space (sometimes called empty or negative space) is a component of graphic design that is used on a website. White space can lead the eye to what you want your users to see.
In page layout, illustration and sculpture, white space is often referred to as negative space. It is the portion of a page left unmarked: margins, gutters, and space between columns, lines of type, graphics, figures, or objects drawn or depicted.
The term comes from graphic design where printing processes generally use white paper. White space is not “blank” space but an element of design.
The balance between positive (or non-white) and the use of negative spaces is key to aesthetic composition.
The simplest form is margins between text and pictures that act as a buffer between your copy.
A good example of web white space is the Google search home page which uses a wide margin of white space that focuses attention on the search bar. It is still similar to its original design which then was in great contrast to the incredibly busy competing Yahoo! home page.