Almost every designer knows or should know that white space refers to the portion between the elements of a design and it is separated in active white space, which is intentionally left blank for the purpose of the design, and the passive white space, which is the byproduct of the design (for example: the space between the letters). Some designers don’t consider white space that important and you can see this best in their designs which most of the times are cluttered.
White space is really important for readability and usability because makes things easier to read. A space between the lines can do a lot of good to the reader, rather than having the words stuck together. The same principle applies when you want to focus the viewers’ attention to a certain element. Instead of using a bright color for it, you could just leave a lot of white space around it.
White space is also important for the visitors’ user experience. Having a cluttered page makes the viewers’ experience difficult. Nobody likes a page which is hard to navigate because it implies a lot of effort from the visitor, a lot of effort which shouldn’t be. Viewing and interacting with a page should be as easy and relaxing as it can be.
If you are a designer who loves white space and respects its usefulness and your client tells you to close the gap between elements, try to explain him that he will lose customers if he has a cluttered website which won’t allow them to see what they have to see and what they need.
I’ll leave here a few examples of websites which make a good use of white space. I hope these will be a good inspiration for you when creating a new website.