Something in nothingness
Looking at the roles of active and passive white space in digital
Space is simply a continuous area, free or unoccupied. The intersection of controlling unoccupied space and the reaction it conveys can lead you in multiple directions.
White space/negative space
White space doesn’t always literally mean “white space.” White space is simply negative space that doesn’t hold any cognitive weight.
Active white space
Active white space is the space that is made intentionally to help a user throughout a layout. Organizing content asymmetrically is a commonly used practice in the application of active white space.
Passive white space
Passive white space is the space that is focused on the assembly of procession, readability and the relationship to its surroundings. Passive white space isn’t dependent on the guidance of a page.
Design is a place that isn’t solely bound by the medium its desired output is for. The narrative can be guided and fill you with a multitude of feelings that resonate with you psychologically. In the world of digital, the perspective of white space is commonly viewed through the lens of content. While that’s only viewing what’s on the surface, there are much more factors to be considered.
When talking about colours, hues and shades, the perception it has on you is often inherent of a material property, thus drawing the parallel between the tactile and emotional receptors.
When examining white space, here are a few attributes to keep in mind…
Associations and separations
The belongings of content as a group or vice versa. Both can be equally important in effectiveness.
Giving users a sense of control. Control in pace, through periods of a mental pause. The mental pause also enables assessment. The ability to step back mentally and view things holistically.
Closely associated to empowerment. Pace helps you set things up for a user by providing them with a sense of comfort, strategically.
Heighten the focus by drawing attention through reduction and space to help guide a users eye.
Design is a practice of subtraction. Distilling something to its purest form will always lead to a clearer and more effective message. Although white space isn’t the only way to achieve this, it’s an important one in presenting a level of sophistication, consideration and luxury.
Viewing white space as active placements throughout a layout will help further the conversation around the necessity of it.
And lastly, always be mindful of what’s ahead. Think about how you can apply white space to help position and impact a users experience.