Why the Glorious Blocks of Nothing on Your Website are Invaluable
Taylor Swift once sang that she had a blank space, baby … and she’d write your name. In fact, thanks to commercial radio, she probably sang it a million times—but that’s not the point.
The point is, when she sang that line, she was definitely not talking about the principles of smart web design. We all know she sings about shaking it off, being permanently twenty-two, or other such minutiae.
However, if she were singing about web design, then she definitely shouldn’t write your name—or anything else for that matter. She should just leave it blank, because a blank space (or two or three) on your website is a good thing!
In a world of excess, it’s actually become fashionable to go back to the good old days of ‘less is more.’ Minimalism is cool, and when it comes to websites, it really is more beneficial to go with a sleek, clean and simple design. Some space here and there gives your audience room to move and appreciate the content that is available.
Overcomplicating a website was a trend of the nineties, and like parachute pants and sampling Super Freak, it’s just not cool anymore (sorry, MC Hammer).
But it’s not just about being on trend, it’s actually going to be far more beneficial for your website (and ultimately your business) if you keep everything uncluttered and actually use your spaces to your advantage.
“Some space here and there gives your audience room to move and appreciate the content that is available.”
So, in the interest of practising what we preach, here is the streamlined and organised reasoning for why this is so:
1. You may not have noticed, but there are a lot of websites out there.
These days every person is on the Internet, not to mention every business, every company, every sporting organisation, every pet, every … well, you get the idea.
That is a lot of information, and the stuff that is going to stand out is the stuff that, well, stands out—or, in other words, the sites that don’t smother people with information. While it may seem like having less to offer your viewer is a bad thing in a competitive marketplace, it’s actually an advantage because…
2. People don’t want to read mountains of text.
Remember when you were in high school and you would get your reading list for the year, praying that you would get some really short novels? Then you’d get stuck with “Middlemarch” and “War and Peace,” and you’d wonder how you were ever going to get through them. Well, some websites can seem just as laborious.
When your audience sees paragraph after paragraph of text with no room for their eyes to chill out and take a rest, they’re unlikely to recall any of the information—if they read it at all. We like vacancies, because they give us a chance to breathe and absorb things.
And it’s also easier to absorb because…
3. It just looks better.
We don’t mean to be all superficial and vain, but in website design, looks matter. They matter big time. Too many bits and pieces on a website inevitably looks ‘busy,’ and life is busy enough.
It will also naturally draw attention to the elements of your site that you’re trying to highlight. The viewers will find what you want them to, and not get bogged down in extraneous detail.
So, there you have it: leave that spot blank; get rid of that image; condense that text. Otherwise, you run the risk of frustrating your audience, turning them away, or alienating them all together.
And if you don’t heed our advice, well then, just like Taylor, don’t say we didn’t warn ya.
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Could your website benefit from a little more wiggle room?
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