Is there an established best practice, backed up by research, that deals with an empty state with multiple CTA for the same action?

For example, this empty state from Dropbox:

enter image description here

There are multiple ways to 'Create a folder'. However, I'm concerned that if a user learns on first usage that the way to create a folder is to click the blue 'Create a Folder' button on the right, will the user not be confused when this button disappears when the empty state is no longer empty?

I am thinking it might be best to show an arrow to a button, 'Click here to create a folder' to teach the user an action that will remain consistent - that button will always be where a user goes to create folders.

2 Answers 2


For the first time visitor what you are thinking is right, also if the user logs in after a long time. The system should understand that the user is logging in for first time or after a long time and show the arrows indicating the functions of those buttons. But, for the regular visitor it will become annoying.

I'm adding to show the arrows to the users who are logging in after a long time because over the time the sites features and functionalities might have changed or the user could have forgotten the use, so that will be helpful.


The process is called Onboarding


enter image description here


To answer your questions separately -

  • What is the least minimum input required by the user to move away
    from the empty state? Ideally, this action link is recommended as
    part of the empty state screen. By pointing towards a button that
    lets the user take further action, you are trying to move him away
    from his initial point of focus. It is much simpler for the user to
    take action at the point where his focus is currently at.

  • The user will not be confused if your call to action buttons are
    appropriately visible based on your user research/user testing.

To summarize : Do not try to deviate user's attention. Minimize this by providing suitable actionable items at point of focus.

This site is temporarily in read-only mode and not accepting new answers.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .