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Should I use a CTA button on each card for a shortcut knowing that I have cards feed layout pagination for more than 10 cards?

For example if I have a projects feed inside a freelancing app here're the a/b variants: First variant without CTA, and user should go inside project to submit a proposal

First variant without CTA, and user should go inside project to submit a proposal

Second variant with CTA, user can go to submit a proposal page from the card directly

Second variant with CTA

What do you think? including the CTA may reduce the visual clearance of the UI?

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In the current design it makes sense. I suppose your alternative is to have the user click on the card. But the cards without "read more" actually are not very discoverable in terms of being clickable.

To that end, it might actually be better to replace "Submit proposal" with a different CTA: "View" or "View & submit proposal". I say this because your design doesn't look visually cluttered with the "Submit proposal" buttons; it looks semantically cluttered — there are too many important actions available for me to take. Instead, I need to be invited to investigate them.

You might be tempted to make it a modal when you do so. Please don't. I as a user want them to be links so I can middle-click or right-click and select "Open in new tab".

P.S. I love the placeholder text of someone who needs an 8-page website moved to a new platform and is expecting 3+ months at 30+ hours/week ;)

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It probably depends on the Read More link. If it expands the card and displays the whole information, "Submitting a Proposal" without additional navigation to another page is probably a good idea. However, if you click Read More and it takes you to a new page, it might be a bit confusing.

Having a CTA on a card isn't bad, in fact it's recommended because every action is different (you'll be submitting a proposal for a different job each time). On the other hand, if you can't show the full requirements, you might need to have the CTA on the landing page. In general, for a job board, I think you probably need to use this approach. For example, take a look at Upwork's approach

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if I click on the "more" link, the info expands

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you will see, however, that you cannot submit a suggestion. To do that, you have to click on the title of the post, and then an overlay opens that visually looks like a page drawer (it's not, it just looks like it).

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Now, Upwork is not exactly a paradigm in UX. In fact, they're known for their UX disasters. But it is one of the biggest job boards, and in this particular case, the user flow makes sense.

Let's take another industry reference: Freelancer.com

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You can't expand the information. If you hover over the job posting, you will see a "Bid Now!" button

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However, if you click on it, you will not be able to place a bid or submit a proposal. You will be redirected to a new page, just like on Upwork

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Conclusion

There's nothing wrong with your approaches, but if you research your competitors, you'll find that none of them allow direct submission.

The options I see are:

  • Your A option
  • Your B option (removing the "read more " link, going to a new page).
  • Your B2 option with expand info, submitting in same page
  • A B3 option (CTA with different wording, just like Luke Sawczak says in his very good answer)

Once you've decided on one or more of the above options, you should research this with real users (well, you definitely should) and design the interface based on those results.

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