Our app allows users to create projects. After a user has signed up, they're dropped into the "select project" screen with a "Getting Started" project:
This "Getting Started" project is "content as the tutorial" (like Trello's "Welcome Board" or Basecamp's "Explore Basecamp!" project).
In addition to this, we want the user to be able to add sample projects that we've created that show real-world possibilities of projects (and can also act as a starting point for their own projects).
We have two competing designs:
Put a link to the sample projects:
With "sample projects" linking to:
The advantage with this approach is that it's progressive disclosure. We don't need to overload the user with options when onboarding. This disadvantage is that it may not directly encourage trying out the sample projects since they're hidden behind a link.
Put some of the sample projects below the list of projects:
The advantage with this approach is that it's very clear to see the real-world projects up front. The disadvantage is that it might be too distracting when they're first trying it out. With this approach we can also show a limited number of sample projects with a link to "view all" project samples.
We considered pre-loading their account with a few sample projects so that we don't need the user to do anything to get the samples in the project list but we have a technical constraint: when we copy a sample project it may take up to ~10 seconds to finish the copy (we have to copy things like images to their account). We want to drop the user into the app as quickly as possible without waiting for sample projects to pre-populate.
Which approach is more clear when onboarding new users and adding sample content?