Is it appropriate to have a modal window be the first thing that a user sees on load of a particular screen?
I am working on a workflow where a user can group an item they are currently working on with a collection of previously-completed items. A search to find these possibly-completed items takes place on transition out of the "item-creation" system and into the another system; if matches are found, the user is directed through my workflow. The first screen of the "other" system already has a set of actions associated with it (start a new item, retrieve a previous item, etc.). My primary considerations are:
- the "connect an item to previous items" workflow only affects only a subset of users.
- the workflow can only be initiated once the user leaves the "item-creation" system
The options I could see for where to put my workflow are either as a temporary section of the "other" screen (though that makes the screen quite long, and the user could "skip" the grouping operation), or as a modal window that appeared on load of the "other" system, which has the added benefit of directing the user toward creating that group (a strongly-desired business outcome).
Are there any strong opinions for or against presenting a user a screen with a modal window already laid over it, or are there any other alternatives?