I'll start with a list of UI improvements I've requested or have seen requested. Any items you see that you would like added please note the #'s and give them a +1. I'll keep tallies with edits until we get a UI patch. Please post any additional requests you have on this topic here and I'll add them to the list with edits.
The List: [tallies in brackets]
- Control+N 
- Esc to exit any screen in-game 
- Arrow or compass to orient models in ship designer 
- Continue option in main menu to load most recent save 
- Global enable/disable of auto-updates 
- In game clock (hidden behind mouse hover of some in-game object if necessary for screen real-estate) 
- Option to center camera on and follow autopiloted ships while they are moving. 
- Move-part button in ship designer. 
- Simultaneous changing of like components in ship designer when grouped. 
- Toggle in ship designer to cycle a selected component through the hardpoints available on the component it is attached to. 
- (a0152570, reply 1) In designer, allow ship component bar to be dragged up to show more than one line of components. 
- (Surge72, reply 2) Mouse-overs show tooltips on visible items in all screens. 
That's a start.