White Space In A Mobile Age
April 11, 2014
White space has ruled over designer’s hands for decades. It was once expected that ample white space be included in all projects, but that time may be over. A growing trend of ‘data packing’ in the mobile field seems to be appearing and may soon reach outside your phones and into everything you view.
Social sites like Twitter and Facebook seem to pack as much content per screen as possible. In many recent updates, white space has been removed and elements have been shrunken down to fit into another tweet or post. Though this can seem appalling and busy at first glance, the use of grids and size differences have created a clear and concise hierarchy and have allowed for faster content viewing. Apps such as ‘Fantastical’ and ‘Box’ pack as much data on a screen as they can, but it is not overwhelming or confusing. It is their use of many design tricks rather than relying on whitespace alone that makes a difference.
This is the age of the short attention span. We require a flood of content just to hold our gaze for a second. I believe design is now catching up and making it easier to get us to a point where we can consume a flood of letters, icons and images much like the raining code in The Matrix. Though this is a personal observation rather than a study, if you disagree with this assumption turn on a football game or flip to any news channel and look at all the ‘data packing.’ Tickers, sweeping graphics and plastered ads are almost more apparent than the main content itself.
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