White Space Equilibrium – Conversion Wednesday

By Dan G

What is White Space Equilibrium? Do you have it?

White Space Equilibrium
White Space Equilibrium is the balance between being concise and trying to say too much on your page. White Space can Improve the shopper’s comprehension of any page of your site. If you look at any page on Apple’s website you could see what I mean. Anyone could view one of their pages an almost instantly comprehend what one of their products was made for and some of the best features about it without being distracted.
White Space de-clutters a page by giving the remaining elements on the page room to breathe. Items can be grouped together or separated simply by increasing or decreasing the white-space between them and other items on the page. This can be very important when you want to display relationships between elements and build a hierarchy on the page without using a lot of non-essential borders and images.
Increased Readability is also a feature of white-space use. According to one study in 2004, simply by utilizing white space between paragraphs and margins, readers said they found it easier to read and focus on generously spaced content better by almost 20%! And beyon that, a number of them said that the spacing positively influenced user satisfaction and experience.

On the flip side of this story is all of that clutter on your website pages. And what is all that clutter? It could be lots of techincal Information, pictures, graphs, Data, and/or Details about your products.
I’m sure you can agree when I say that some sites cram too many details on their pages and others simply lack sufficient information, even for visitors doing a quick scan. People rely heavily on this information to make their purchasing decisions and if your not conveying your message or information clearly, your bound to meet with dire consequences. Research shows that poor product information accounts for around 8% of usability problems and even 10% of site bounces and exits (by that we mean, the user gives up and leaves the website entirely).

Another Apple
Apple provides another perfect example for this. They balance providing detailed information about their products while spacing the elements on their page to increase comprehension for their shoppers. Apple provides more-detailed information for their products on their “Tech Spec” pages, keeping the complicated details away from the simpler marketing pages, providing easy access to them when they’re needed.
Bottom Line: Make the page scannable by breaking up the text into smaller, scannable segments and use plenty of sub-headings. On top of that, use plenty of eye-catching images and use everyday language to minimize the jargon or techy speak and cumbersome paragraphs.

Of course, there is only one sure-fire way to be certain that you’ve found that perfect white space equilibrium and that is through testing. By testing a few variations of differing amounts of white-space, verbiage, and imagery on your site in an AB or Multivariate test you’re sure to find the best way to balance white-space on your site.
That’s it for today. I hope this article helps you Find Your Equilibrium between white-space and clutter. Thanks for reading!

Image courtesy Digimatters