The Power of Using White Background on Web Design

White backgrounds are an excellent tool to build a stunning website to attract visitors and improve conversions. Learn how.
dog looking at white background
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    White backgrounds are an excellent tool for website visitors, business marketing and web creators. Learn a few tips for successful design.

    Creative Strategies on the power of using white background on web design to build stunning websites.

    Backgrounds play an essential role in web design. A large and beautiful background attracts the eye of the visitors and sends them the business message you want them to hear. The right background can make your website unforgettable and improve conversions.

    Nowadays, white backgrounds are becoming more and more popular and becoming a powerful tool in creating a positive customer experience for your business marketing. White backgrounds can elevate your design and transmit the emotions, the stories and build a massive amount of value to your message.  They are an essential part of UX design to benefit the users, the business and the designer.

    This article will explore the power of using a white background in web design to bring purpose and beauty to the website design and support other important parts of the same design – text, icons and images.
    The white background is becoming an essential UX design part of an overall visual aesthetic to improve consumer behaviour.

    The Psychology Of Colours In Marketing Strategies

    We have discussed how to use colours to improve consumer behaviour and how consumers respond to your colours, and that  includes the background colours. There is no doubt that colours play a significant effect on customer experience and are a great tool to increase website conversions. As human beings, we look for easily recognisable and familiar images to evoke emotional reactions. The same principle applies when we search websites, our eyes will be looking for what is useful and pleasant and decide whether we stay there or not.

    The psychology of colours is mainly used in presenting the product or service to the market target. Colours play a significant role in consumer behaviour as they induce a positive user experience transmitting a psychological message to the minds that those products or services are vital to fulfilling the visitors’ needs. Colours have a direct effect on how a product or service is perceived.

    Colour combinations used in a well-designed website, especially on the home page, will inform your visitors about your business at a glance, even before they read the content. It is well tested that images communicate with the audience more effectively than written content, so, cleverly incorporate images in the background of your home page to invite your visitors to dig in and explore the other pages. A win over your competition!

    So, let's start at the beginning…

    What is a Background

    Smashing Magazine defines modern background as “today, backgrounds are one of the core features that determine how visually interesting a website is. The background holds the theme of the website, and there are a vast amount of possibilities when designing a website background.”

    There are various background setup structures in use. This article will discuss one of the trendiest structures most used today that has gone beyond a trend. It has become a simple and effective way to emphasise the importance of critical elements – the power of white background.

    The power of using white background on web design makes the background integral to the design and adds depth to the web design.  Background holds the theme of the website. Every background structure the designer chooses identifies the website differently. Therefore, selecting the best background to transmit the correct business message to the viewers is a big responsibility. And certainly ensure usability and responsiveness, which are essential.  

    The importance of background layout

    A strategic way to ensure visitors’ interest in your website is to use a beautiful, attractive background with images that catch the viewers’ eye and send them the business message. The suitable background layout shows your business personality clearly and makes the products more appealing to the viewers. 

    Images are vital elements to make your website visually appealing and they have an integral use in the background layout. It is good to repeat; they attract the visitors and keep them engaged to the page while searching for products or services that will solve their needs.

    Backgrounds are extremely important in the composition of the elements that will identify your brand and your products. Simple backgrounds are vital to creating clear, high-quality images that will speak to your audience, register in their minds and induce them to respond. And what could be simpler than white? White backgrounds make it easier to focus on the images allowing your business to showcase precisely what you want our target audience to see and get your point across instantly.

    This article will teach you how to use a white background to create visually appealing websites that distinctly reflect your brand’s personality. White is a colour that transmits feelings of cleanliness and safety. It helps spark creativity and is very effective for a minimalist, precise brand approach.

    We will see how you can play with this powerful tool and use your design skills to enhance the user experience of your target audience.

    What White Backgrounds can do in creative design:

    • They are the foundation of the design
    • You can direct the eye where you want it to go
    • They make a visually appealing website
    • They build depth and contrast with textures and colours that make your products emerge, come to light to the viewers
    • They help you build space to layer the text content
    • They clearly picture the business message
    • They offer visual support, adding more meaning to your design
    • They provide strategic ways to improve navigation buttons to attract visitors.

    There are many different ways to make your background more significant. Your brand or product personality is of utmost importance. The selection of colours in the website must have clarity of purpose, offer the best first impressions to visitors and inspire repeat customers to visit and share your brand or product with their friends.

    The use of white background and white-related colours continues to show that this strategy works. Remember that colour is something the human mind ties to memories and experiences; it is something that most people can relate to. Therefore, they become integral parts of creating a successful website.

    But there is a warning: clean and creative backgrounds that feature subtle patterns or lots of negative space require good structure of the images with strong visuals to take your content to the next level and let your visitors look beyond the pictured subject, especially in the home page.

    Remember that when users visit a website, they decide to hit the back button within milliseconds. Yes! Milliseconds.  The background is critical to the homepage introduction. They are the foundation of the compelling content introduction to attract attention from your visitors, draw their eyes to specific pieces of the page and give them space to breathe during their approach.

    Why white? What does white say?

    White is a simple colour or lack of colour and yields perfectly to a minimal design. Never undermine the simplicity of the colour white. White has the power to stimulate senses and help the viewers concentrate on the essential aspects of the creative design, allowing them to receive the correct message.

    One observation must be done toward how white is perceived by other cultures, like China or Korea, for instance, where white symbolises death and ill luck. This aspect must be taken into consideration when designing a website. But generally, the western view has a significant following in our society, and white tends to be pleasing to the eyes because it carries the feelings of purity on what is clean and transmits a generally positive way of seeing things. Designers must be aware of who the audience is and whether they are likely to have a positive or negative reaction to this colour.  

    When white is used as a background colour, then it becomes a supporting member of the design. The design will be uncluttered, with all potential for the content to occupy first place.

    While white maintains its colour associations, it also absorbs what is around it, making the design express its full meaning helping the viewer concentrate on what is important. But, as we mentioned before, this minimal design requires the designer to put more effort into the other features on the page, reduce the noise, and allow the viewers to digest the message.

    When to use a white background in the website design

    The use of white background is growing, and designers use it for all kinds of projects, from portfolios to e-commerce. The elegance, simplicity and peaceful nature of the colour is beautifully seen on many different websites. Sites with a dark-coloured or black background are not as prominent as those with soft focus. When less is more, white is the way to success.

    The key is that white backgrounds allow interface designs to be more streamlined and efficient highlighting clarity and removing visual obstacles, besides adding visual emphasis to the important parts of the design either in images, photos, text, or colours.

    white background on ikea website

    Design Trends that are getting special use of the white background

    1. The minimalist use of simple elements in a flat and minimal styling. As Paul Rand said: “simplicity and geometry are the languages of timelessness and universality”. What would personify simplicity more than a white background? It pairs easily with the use of many colours in bright or bold colours.
    2. Responsive design has made white recapture popularity after the dark-coloured backgrounds trend because it looks natural and easy to look in small screens. It reflects light well and does not alter the images. On computer screens, three colours of light (red, green and blue) are generated. The other colour variations are due to different combinations and intensities of these three primary colours. When the overall background is white, the edges of the images become quickly clear without any extra design effect.
    3. Readability is a strong factor to opt for a white background. If you need an easy-to-read website, where contrast is the key, white then is the best answer. This due mainly because we have read black on white since the earliest days, and the habit persists. If it is hard to read, why bother?

    Tips on using white background in web design

    White has always been a popular colour. It is nice to see the revival and rejuvenation in its use in design lately.  Just to start, the white background is elegant and rarely goes wrong. They are the first path to clean design. In website design, though this simplicity does require a harmonious structure of images and good design skills, balance all elements in creating a clean layout with beauty and purpose. It needs to pair, obviously, with the colours of the other elements and text.

    Some tips that bring results are:

    Create an engaging contrast

    Choose bright colours or bright hues to engage the user against a white background. But be aware of readability. If the text, icons, or image contrast poorly with the background, reading will be more difficult, especially for people with low vision. But very high contrast could also cause problems, especially for people with dyslexia. The contrast colour between text colour and background should be at least 4.5:1. 

    Try to be minimal

    Simplicity should be your aim. A minimally styled design scheme produces great impact expressing only the most essential elements in marketing your products or services.

    Use typography that creates a visually outstanding display

    This tip goes again with the need to emphasise readability. Clear and decipherable images and text are key in reaching your audience. Layout and typography are essential to achieving the best beautiful design for readability. The fonts should be resumed, and define the design outline clearly.  

    Use simple images

    Complex images will probably not go well with the page. Choose photos, illustrations and graphics that clearly reflect the business message. The white background tends to have a modern look. Your images should emphasise clarity and support clear and consistent navigation options.

    Value space

    Creating visual displays includes using the space available to communicate appropriately with the website viewers. The principles of perception and memory play a big role in this aspect. Your graphic design photos, icons, images and text need to form a visual interpretation that communicates at a glance the ideas and messages you want to transmit. If you are interested in learning more about design principles that can be applied to graphic and web design, have a look at my series on the Gestalt Theory, where we discuss the Gestalt Principles of Perception and how inclusive and important they are in the creation of visual displays in marketing.  The target audience comprises individual human beings with particular personal strengths and weaknesses that react to your design’s positive and negative spaces. Using spaces in web design is a vital component to add emphasis and clarity to the intended message of the design.

    Pick a colour that brings focus to your project

    and use it against the white background in a subtle, consistent way to bring a modern, clean, stylish feel to the Layout. The colour palette you select should reflect the brand’s message and, at the same time, drastically improve the visitors’ experience with your products or services.

    Other shades of white

    To create a soft white with an undertone for reading screens, you can use a pinch of other colours – typically black. If you don’t think you should use pure white, if white does not do well with your business’ choice of images or text, or if you find white too harsh to the eye, there are other hues you could use that create a light focus. Some of them are cream, alabaster, linen, seashell, snow, milk, ivory, pearl, paper, or corn silk. These colours will create a soft white with an undertone which will help readability on the screens. 

    Google, for instance, uses a light pink in their design to create contrast. Google’s iconic logo is friendly and straightforward, transmits the personality of the company. There is no clutter. It is not difficult for the eye or the mind. And, obviously, clearly, conveys the purpose of the company – to search for something.

    white background on goggle website

    There is a story behind the use of that layout, thought. Google was one of the first companies to use a white background. When they started, Internet connections were slower, and people had to wait for the page to download. The white space reduces bandwidth and also shows the quality of the product.

    If using those shades of hue on your white background is proper for your product or service, use it.  Think of them as a tool to enhance the visitors’ senses and focus on what is significant in the design of your page. In a light background design, with a white background or off shades of white, you still need to put effort into all the other features on the page to make it attractive to the audience. A professional web designer will know what to do and which resources to use to produce a stunning website. 

    Conclusion

    Now you know a bit more about the power of using a white background on web design. White background is a great tool to design for user experience (UX). You will need to organise images and text content in a beautiful and efficient layout and guide the focus and attention of the visitors.

    As you have seen, the power of using white background on web design is huge. Use it and make your website an outstanding tool to attract and keep your visitors. Now you know that:

    1. White enhances the readability factor simply because we are used to reading books and papers on white background
    2. White background is easier on the eye than dark background with bright text
    3. It improves usability for the older generation, the tech-savvy seniors who use the Internet every day as it carries clear and clean connotations, not inflicting further damage to the eyes
    4. It brings a modern, sleek and clean feel to your website page
    5. It does not distract potential buyers keeping them focused on your product or services
    6. It brings positive responses from potential customers
    7. Never underestimate the selling power of white background websites.

    Hope you enjoyed reading this article. Did you find the information on this post useful to help you grow your business? Leave your comments below. 

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    Cidinha Moss

    Cidinha Moss

    Cidinha Moss is the founder of Moss51 Art & Design, a graphic and web design studio that thrives on building usable and aesthetically pleasing websites and brand images. Cidinha is a dog lover who happens to have adventures in painting, ceramics and marketing. She brings decades of experience to her current role, where she is dedicated to creating communication that connects. You can find her on Facebook or LinkedIn

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