No, this isn't a post about the iPad. But Apple's web site provides a good example of how the judicious use of white space makes a site effective - as Henry Jones points out.
But just today I've been reading a number of web sites that talk about the need for white space in our lives, too. I'll quote briefly from these various sites; you can follow the links to read the full articles. It started with Terry Barber's The White Space of Life (PDF) where he writes:
I get home, and as I’m hanging up my suit and tie, I notice my crammed-full closet, and I think to myself, Wow! This is a picture of my life. For a man, I have way too many shoes. Shoes sitting on top of each other. Shoes still in the boxes. Shoes for running, shoes for tennis. Golf shoes and walking shoes. I look to the right and I see neatly arranged dress shirts—blues, whites, and others — all packed in very tightly. They could use a little breathing room. So could I.And that was followed, just a few hours later, with these thoughts from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits:
Just before I go to bed, I look at my calendar for tomorrow. ... It’s crowded. ...
When you love what you do, white space quickly becomes a rare commodity. But without it, even that thing you love to do can become burdensome.
I’m not a designer, but I’ve always been in love with the design concept of white space. It’s the space in a design that isn’t filled with things. ...And then I found this article by Tara on the Ode Magazine web site, which begins with this:
But white space can be used in the design of our lives as well. ...
White space can give clarity to the things in our lives — whether they’re possessions, projects, tasks, or just things that occupy our time and attention. A nice piece of furniture is more beautiful when it’s not surrounded by clutter. ...
In theory, achieving white space isn’t difficult: you remove non-essential items from your life, your workday, your surroundings, your possessions, and leave the essential items with space around them.
But of course in practice it’s a bit different, and requires experimentation, learning, practice.
Recently, I’ve been canceling a lot of things from my calendar. Just canceling. It feels quite rebellious. My life, like yours, is full of projects, work, family, errands, all kinds of lovely people, closet organizing aspirations….I could go on and on. I filled up the calendar with all that good stuff and found myself feeling bummed out by it, anxious and resentful. I wanted white space – not a zoo of text – on the calendar page.Note: The quote above had a typo on the original site, which I've corrected.
Does this concept resonate with anyone? Do you feel the need to add white space to some parts of your life? Please share your thoughts in the comments.