1) It only makes sense to have the ships orient in flight for the engines being the rear of the ship. As it stands you can make ships that have an obvious front, and have them fly in reverse on both the map and in tactical. It looks odd, and it messes up the animations.
Sometimes you start a ship, not know what it will look like, but if you design a look, and you go to place the engine module, and it starts off in the opposite direction, and you'd have to rotate it so it makes sense, you shouldn't You have to delete the ship you're designing and start over, or your ship will fly in reverse.
Not even sure why we can change the orientation of the engine modules in the ship design mode. They only work in one direction. Changing the orientation doesn't do anything graphically and just messes up your ship's rendering and usage on the map.
2) The designer also needs a way for you to change the size of a ship, so you can add to one and make it larger without staring again. Not everyone uses ship designs with 20 or so modules. Most my ships use around 300 individual modules. There is no saving grouped parts because a grouped part does not preserve orientation, scale, animation, inverted materials etc.
3) That brings me to another point: Saving a module should preserve all the stats you imbued into a group of components in the designer.
4) Also, I may be wrong, but I cannot for the life of me find a way to have it so my designs update with tech like the default ships, or down-grade in a new game. If this isn't an option, then it's a broken option, because you have to constantly go in and adjust the ships with every tech you research.
5) We should also be able to edit our ships, once created in the designer, in an XML file. This lets us use existing designs we've made, or made for the purpose of a mod, with ease. It also lets us correct errors we may have made during the design phase.
6) We should be able to search for a part. Even though I've used the designer a bunch of times, I'm still stuck looking at a part like Human 18, or something, and the parts not being sequential in the designer, then looking at each and every one. It's time consuming.
7) we need an Undo button, and a redo button. The redo button can only work if it's possible to delete/add the part, and if not then we get the message if something else is attached to it.
7) Lastly. We should be able to highlight a connection point via the mouse, and select a module and have it attach to that exact point. If you have a lot of points in a given space, it can be a nightmare to properly align, even if I run my mouse dps down to a LOW setting. I've had dozens of attempts to place one damn part. Delete it
On a side note: there are a few modules in the designer that have a icon that does not represent it's actual shape. You have to learn these parts, and that's just odd.