As far as I know, this is a default behavior, that if a user has to sign in first he will always get redirected to the start page.
What Service Desk version is installed in your environment? Because I think this was changed in a previous version that 7.7
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There is a known issue logged as problem 5400 that is being fixed for the next version (7.7.2) that causes this behaviour if you have the "/ss" portion in the URL. If you remove this the link will redirect them properly.
For example if you have this URL:
Remove the "/ss" so it looks like:
Web Access will put the /ss in automatically when it sees the user logging in is an End User.
thank you Stu