The Importance of Spacing In Design

Imagine your favorite artist sings or releases a song without spacing or breaks in between the music, It would sound noisy - the beats would clash with notes or tones and then it would be a turnoff to all listeners. Spacing is really important in all spheres, it even connotes arrangement in a layman understanding. It can be as basic as if you go to a waiting room, in there, everyone has his/her own seat and people refer to their individual seat as “my space.

So spacing can equal position, and position equals orderliness.

Now let’s look at spacing from a design perspective. In design, spacing is crucial. It can keep items divided or together, it can signal the start or end of a process. The most crucial thing that spacing performs in design is to draw attention. A large blob of body copy can be tedious to read and not visually appealing. Even if it is the most crucial part of the text, readers or viewers are prone to skipping words. Every aspect of a user interface, even an empty space between items, should be deliberate. Relationships and hierarchy are established by the amount of space between elements.

We are going to be looking into 3 aspects of spacing;

  • The relationship space creates
  • Hierarchy
  • White space

The relationship space creates

Nearly identical elements in a design are regarded as meaningfully related. The perceived relationship between elements fades when greater space is introduced between them.

Relationships can be formed through patterns established by spacing. Components with the same spacing pattern are viewed as linked and equal-weighted parts.

Space can also be utilized to represent collections of related data. This eliminates the need for lines or other graphical elements to split content parts on a page.

Hierarchy (focus)

The importance of elements with greater spacing surrounding them is judged to be higher than elements with less space. Take this page, for example. The top level headers are surrounded by additional space, giving them more focus and significance. The headers are then given less space as their prominence decreases, indicating that they are subordinate.

Closely spaced elements are more likely to be overlooked. Users can view the grouping but not process each item individually. As a result, if you have a really important element or piece of content on the page, consider adding extra space around it to assist it draw attention.

White space

Your elements will fall into place and look fantastic if you arrange white space effectively, but if you only arrange the positive aspects, your white space will almost always be ineffective. White space provides a resting spot for the eye, which is necessary for it to absorb the message you're attempting to convey. It's a visual indicator indicating there's a pause in the content or that it's over. Whitespace is beneficial. Your page and site will be easier to navigate if you leave plenty of whitespace.

Whitespace is essential for getting the information across and getting the visitor to take action. At its core, it's an issue of clarity and motivation: consumers should be able to understand where they're going and be given a reason to act. Users who are frustrated or confused, on the other hand, are less likely to respond in the way that website owners desire. The majority of visitors are in a hurry and do not appreciate searching for the information they require. Rather, to consent. Instead, give them fewer alternatives and give them plenty of room around them to speed up and boost interactions. This eliminates interruptions that slow down visitors.

Why is spacing important in design?

For easy usability: Spacing makes a website or mobile app usable. If contents on a website are written without consideration on intentional spacing, it creates a bad user experience for the user as the user would be overwhelmed by the volume of information thereby reducing the chances the user will stay on the website.

To increase engagement: Spacing increases engagement by guiding users along a flow or direction of an interface which keeps the user following through in an organized pattern. A product’s level of engagement will influence it’s value to both the customer and the business.

Improve the visual appeal of the user interface: Proper spacing will make the user interface for any product visually appealing thereby making the user experience a delightful one.

Spacing in design is not just about about leaving white space without a purpose - you have to be intentional about how you use spacing to improve the quality of your UI design and overall User experience.

Written By : Adekanye Sharon

(Perxels' Alumna)

Perxels is a design school that provides training and mentorship to UIUX designers to grow and thrive in the industry