This rings true in both our personal lives and even web design. “Space” is an interesting element to our unique lives, and you will find that its benefits are often the same regardless of the context.
But, this is not my spiel on the philosophy of space. I must break it down in web design layman’s terms.
Space is predominantly responsible for creating the depth that I considered in my last post. It creates the sense of height, width, and most importantly dimension on an otherwise flat screen. Space will also help to construct the following delicious web design ingredients:
Though it is presumably understood in the covert sense, mood is critical to a website. When you imagine the likes of a medical website, it is probably a lot more serious than the likes of a children’s entertainment company. Sure, color and graphics can certainly create an overtly “delicious, “happy,” “serious” (or any other adjective describing the mood of a given company) tone for a client. However, space will be responsible for “sealing the deal.”
Space can create the dynamic constructs of peace, tension, constriction, or freedom. The notion of loneliness is easily implemented by the web designer’s use of space between visual elements. Imagine a group of objects in one area of the homepage and a single object just an inch away from the rest. Space is often more effective in creating mood, since it works on our subconscious.
The concept of separation helps to achieve the hierarchy of themes, graphics, and any content on the page. Consider the main navigation of most sites. Typically running horizontally, directly under the header, the main navigation tells the user
LOOK AT ME!!! I’m Important!
Another traditional concept is to employ a fairly large, compelling main image. This is often the focal point of the page, attracting the user to various other locations on the site. The designer will strategically create eye flow and generate areas of importance based upon this main image.
I’ve made a lot of commentary on what I like to refer to as
“razzle, dazzle overkill!!!!”
I think this concept speaks volumes, but let me elaborate. Ya’ know how they say less is more in the world of fashion? Well, often, the same can be said in the world of website design.
At my New York web design firm, my web designer is pretty fond of exercising white space. By choosing a compelling main image, he thoughtfully places content and other design elements around what he deems most important. The space tells the user that there is no need to muddy the page with useless fluff. What we see is essential and effective.
I could probably use a little space therapy in my personal life, considering my proclivity to NOT throw anything I own away…………………EVER! But, I’ve got the web design space thing on lock!