It is a general belief that silence and emptiness are bad for us. How about changing your perspective for once and see them as a foundation for contrast? It is only silence that lets us value sound and it is only emptiness that makes us want to fill it with something.
In the world of UI design, designers never take negative space for granted. This negative space is a white or empty space in the design layout. Often, in UI design services, it’s placed around the object or between and inside it. This negative space plays the role of a breather for all objects on the screen or page. It defines the limits of the object and creates a bond between two (or more) objects. It builds up an effective visual performance.
The Role of Negative Space in UI Design
Negative space can be seen in illustrations, creative lettering, logos, and posters. It makes the key objects more expressive. In UI design, negative space plays a dominant role in the navigability and usability of an interface. Negative space around the elements is known as macro space and the space between or inside them is known as micro space.
Why is it important?
Imagine coming into a room filled with stuff – clothes, a cluttered desk, boxes, shelves, and bags so on. Will you be able to concentrate in such an environment? Will you find an item you need? The answer to both these questions is no. Well, a user pretty much feels the same when they open a web page or app cluttered with design, graphics, and text.
Many clients make the mistake of putting too many elements on one page. Experts in UI design services say the user doesn’t need to see everything at once. Too many elements without negative space increase the level of distraction. You are overloading the user with information. The user will never click anything or complete an action you intended, to begin with.
Maybe it’s time you reevaluate your app’s interface or the layout of your web page to see if there’s enough negative space.
Benefits of negative space
The right use of negative space in design brings the following benefits:
- Makes the page scan-able
- Enhances visual hierarchy
- Makes the bond between elements visible
- Provides air on the pages and avoids clutter
- Sets the user attention of core elements
- Reduces distraction
- Adds style and elegance to a page
Industry Best Practices for Optimal Use of Negative Space
Here are a few ways negative space is used in UI design services:
Break Up the Page
Breaking up a page is a critical visual component. A website with too much information and very little space can easily distract a visitor. They will never be able to get to the “main information” like the CTA button.
Using negative space, help your visitors absorb information. Create a symmetric composition on the page to make them perceive information. There must be equal space between the components of the composition. As per the rule, the space between micro blocks should take 1/3rd of the space between the macro blocks.
Here is an example of a good page layout with breaks:
Improve Content Comprehension
You don’t have to be an expert in UI design services to understand how much important content readability is with respect to design. There is no better way of optimizing content readability than using negative space in the design. Proper use of space between letters, lines, and words boosts reading comprehension.
If you want to optimize content comprehension, focus on line spacing and paragraph margins. Line spacing increases the legibility of the text. It makes the content absorbable and readable.
See the difference here:
Add Visual Hierarchy
Negative space is much more than the white space between elements on a web page. It comes a long way in building a visual hierarchy.
It refers to presenting elements in such a way that it implies importance. In simpler terms, it influences the order in which a visitor perceives or sees the information. One can’t separate the visual hierarchy from UI design services.
So how to use negative space for improving visual hierarchy? Let’s say you want the visitor to focus on a certain aspect of an object. In that case, increase the negative space around the object. This would isolate the key elements and the visitor will navigate to the focal point directly.
This example is a great use of negative space to add visual hierarchy:
Psychologists when studying how people organize visual info in their heads developed a law called “the Law of Proximity.” According to this law, visual objects that are located next to each other appear the same to the human eye.
That means two elements too close to one another in a page layout might appear the same to the visitor. To make sure both elements get noticed, add some negative space, and make the design appealing.
This principle works wonders for architecture blogs or websites. You can separate bulky texts into blocks small paragraphs to achieve a more pleasing layout.
Enhance Visual Performance
Take the logo guidelines and you will find that it’s mandatory to define the appropriate amount of negative space around the main object. This is the only way a customer can perceive the managing of your logo correctly. That’s why minimalistic logos are always recommended for great visual performance.
The way FedEx has used negatively in their logo is commendable. Have you ever noticed the “arrow” between E and X?
Negative space, no doubt, is a powerful tool in UI design services yet many fail to use it the right way. Its application is both art and science. Maintaining an optimum level and creating a balance only comes with experience and a professional will know how to sprinkle it in effortlessly.
Clients just need to realize that information overload could be the cause of a higher bounce rate. Make your visitor perform an action you want through a visually appealing design that has just the right amount of negative space.