I'm designing an internal system and I'm trying to achieve better consistency amongst the different types of pages that I have.
For every functionality the main page is a "Search" page. And given that it is a "Search" page, the search button has been highlighted. This is shown on the following picture.
For one specific page, I'm not sure if I'm going the right way. It's the heart of the system and the user is supposed to fill a lot of fields in a specific order. So, I designed the page with tabs:
The first tab has quite a few form fields. On the second tab, the user is supposed to click on a link to add clients to this record. This link calls a "modal window". But here's the catch.
The content of this modal is a wizard. The first page of this wizard is the same search that can be accessed from somewhere else in the system.
From my point of view, this time we are inside a modal and the primary action is to save (associate) a new client with the record being generated "behind" the modal. And this only happens after the user goes through the pages of this wizard.
So, I understand that the primary action of this modal is "save". So, "Save" is highlighted. Searching is no longer a primary action (since we are inside the modal). So, "Search" is no longer highlighted.
I was asked about consistency, since "Search" is highlighted when we go to this same page outside the modal.
So, my question is: Should the whole modal have one primary action? Or since we have a wizard, every page of the wizard can have its own primary action?
If I'm displaying the same content in different contexts, should I keep everything the same to keep it consistent or is it understandable that context can change for example the primary action?
Extending my question, if my modal didn't have a wizard, should I leave only "Save" as primary and display the search button as a "regular" button?