After declining for six years (Wang, 2016), printed magazines are facing the dilemma of a paperless era. As magazine publishing emerges into the digital world, it needs to achieve the degree of readers’ desire that is comparable to or surpassing print publications.

Limited research has been done regarding white space in digital magazines. This thesis aimed to investigate how user experience is affected by white space in the layout of digital editions of food magazines designed for the Apple iPad.

The study focused on the evaluation of white space as the factor influencing the quality of the user experience. White space was separated into macro and micro white space. The researcher defined and quantified levels of macro and micro white space and created samples of magazine pages with the corresponding white space levels. Subsequently, the researcher obtained subjective evaluations of three perspectives of user experience: satisfaction, ease of use, and usefulness. Analysis of Variance was employed to determine if any of these white space levels have significant effect on user experience.

The study determined that macro, micro, and the interaction of macro and micro white space had a significant impact on all three perspectives of UX based on the questionnaire data. It was observed that the majority of 62 participants chose the 38% macro white space, and 135% micro white space was the best combination regarding all three aspects of the user experience. It was concluded that 135% micro white space had the most significant effect on legibility, and 120% micro white space had the most positive effect on readability.

Upon conclusion of the study, the researcher believes there is no specific white space amount that would satisfy all of the people. However, within the scope of the present experiment, it could provide a useable manual to magazine publishers and designers.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Layout (Printing)--Public opinion; Magazine design--Public opinion; Tablet computers--Mobile apps--Public opinion

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Print Media (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Media Sciences (CIAS)


Elena Fedorovskaya

Advisor/Committee Member

Christine Heusner


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes