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How to Utilize Negative Space in Web Design?

Negative space, often called white space, is that empty space you have done in web application design. And it doesn’t have to be just white; negative space can be any color. Many people in web design don’t like negative space and try to fill it up, but too much fill in negative space results in web applications or websites that are cluttered and noisy. The key is to learn how to utilize negative space in web design to your advantage.

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Negative Space – It’s Not a Bad Thing

Before we get into how to utilize negative space in web design, it is important that you understand that negative space can be a good thing. Shreyes Kejariwal, CEO of Keyideas, says, “The key to making the best use of negative space in web design is to find a way to balance it with the objects on the screen.” In other words, don’t overuse or under use either the objects on the screen (positive space) or negative space.

Negative space can – and should – be used to make a webpage pleasant to look at. If used properly, negative space will make a webpage:

  • Look less cluttered

  • Look professional

  • Easier to navigate

  • Easier to read

Utilizing Negative Space

There are two ways to make use of negative space in responsive web design, in the layout and via the images and text. The layout of the page means the positioning of the main elements of the webpage. This is generally the text boxes and icons. By positioning these such that you pay attention to their location on the page and the spacing between the various boxes and icons, you can create a layout that offers a good balance between positive and negative space.

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You will also have images on your webpage. Images offer a unique and effective way to utilize negative space in web design. This is particularly the case if you are designing your own images. The most important aspect of combining negative space with images is that the negative space should help bring the focus of the viewer to the image, rather than distract the viewer.

It is also helpful in images, particularly images created for logos, to use the negative space with the positive space such that you create more than one object in an image. For instance, if you consider the logo for FedEx, the E and the x are set next to each other such that the white space between them forms an arrow.

It is also critical to consider the negative space around text when designing web applications or webpages. You need a good amount of negative space to enhance readability. This means using shorter paragraphs and being aware of the amount of space between paragraphs, lines, and words. Paragraphs that are too long and/or spacing that is too tight will make text difficult to read and the reader is not likely to bother.

Remember that negative space is not a waste of space. Instead, it is a critical UI/UX design element that, when used effectively, will ensure the page is clean, crisp, professional, and easy to read and navigate.