The basic premise of Automator is similar to creating a recipe, only instead of listing the steps necessary to turn basic food elements into a culinary masterpiece, you link actions together to create a workflow that performs an automated task with data and files. In spite of this simple concept, it can be confusing for those new to Automator to determine which actions should begin their workflows.
The new Starting Points feature of Automator walks you through the process of beginning a workflow by automatically displaying a sheet, in new workflow windows, from which you select a category that represents the kinds of things you want to do, and choose some options from the popup menus.
Once you've made your selections, a new Automator workflow will be created beginning with the appropriate starter action.
Once you've become accustomed to creating workflows, you can disable this feature by simply selecting Disable Starting Points in the Automator application menu.