Chroma Experience

Negative space & positive results

What is negative (white) space and why is it needed?

What do we mean by white space? It is the space between the elements of the user interface. For example, it is located between charts, widgets, icons, paragraphs, and images. Although it is often referred to as "white space", it is not necessarily white. It is simply the negative space between elements.

Relativ leeres Parkhaus in dessen Zentrum nur ein Auto steht

Used correctly, negative space is a very powerful tool that increases user attention. Negative space makes it possible to set a focus and direct attention exactly there. This can increase the interaction rate and create a logical grouping between elements.

Still, empty space is often a point of contention between designers and clients, as the actually thoughtful use of negative space is sometimes seen as a waste of space.

We've all been there. We often experience it ourselves. The flood of information is frustrating for us humans. We need a meaningful structure in the design, supported by negative space, to give our eyes a break. This ultimately increases the user's satisfaction with the product.

Types of negative space - micro and macro.

The main difference between micro and macro negative space is size.

Micro spaces are mainly used between lines and paragraphs or between raster images. For example, in text paragraphs without micro-space, the user has difficulty absorbing the information. They then stop reading and the product is not used further.

Negative macro space is larger and is used to categorize different elements of the design. It creates enough space between content blocks to create a hierarchical structure and help users navigate through the design.

Platz zwischen den Abschnitten und Elementen erzeugt bessere Lesbarkeit
Sufficient space between elements

Best Practices

The best way to strike an appropriate balance between white space and elements is to conduct user research and user testing. Adhering to a grid and creating consistent logic in white space can also yield great results. The purposeful use of white space can help convey the hierarchy of the product and increase user satisfaction.

Designer Paul Boag suggests limiting a page to 15 points. This means that each element added to the page costs one point. His method also implies that several points are awarded according to the importance of an element so that it stands out in the end. The method helps us designers to realize that not everything can or must be communicated on a page and white spaces have a more positive effect.

Logische Sortierung: Zusammengehöriges steht eng beieinander
Logical sorting and allocation using white space


White Space is not an unused space, but one of the most important yet invisible elements of design. It helps create balance, communicate brand value, support the function and purpose of the product. By designing intentional white space, we guide our users through a process, highlighting the most important aspects and allowing them to breathe between segments.

White Space im Text für eine bessere Lesbarkeit
Hierarchy and structure by spacing in the text