This is just something I threw together tonight. With time and refinements I think it would be quite useful in game.
Instead of waiting for description popup it is displayed instantly on the right under description
Required research skill and item value is displayed together along with your current research skill level
If you are missing the required schematic you can create it from the same screen instead of leaving the item you chose and navigating back and forth between schematics and your desired item screens
Missing requirements are listed under the description (schematics can be made without leaving screen)
Added ability to filter by "Rank" and "Quality", thereby making finding your items faster and easier
Added "Item Sets" to tabs for Aegis and possible future crafted sets (*hint* *hint* Cryptic!!)
Added "Compare" to allow for comparing selected item to current items that are in use (general comparisons. Ideally "real world" impact like when you view your stats in non-sector space)
Added "Stock" to allow you to see all crafting materials you have access to in bank and inventory (Do I need one more, five more, or twenty more of that material?)
Just an idea... I'll tweak it more as the idea forms better in my mind. Granted all just a suggestion unless Cryptic gives us the ability to create add-ons and UI customizations like other MMO's someday. Then I would just make it myself!
*** UPDATE May 25, 2012 ***
Well I modified and tweaked my design a bit more. I took various suggestions into the design like making it more LCARS like and adding the images for the missing crafting items. I also put up pic of what I imagine the bank (Stock) screen would look like. Next will be comparison screen.
For what it's worth, I'd like those additions. I don't craft all that often, but the current interface can be a little dull.
What you did with the right side-bar, for lack of a better term, is nice. Normally, I find myself hovering over things to confirm what the materials are (and what I am missing), so what you put there is certainly attractive.
I really like the idea behind the "stock" section to let us know the quantity we have vs. what we still need to collect or purchase.
Being able to make the relevant schematic for an item right there would improve speed, for sure.
Would be nice to see a more LCARS like interface, but issue with LCARS is it was never very efficient at showing data. Lots of used space that was unneeded. Still some more advanced streamlined version would be nice. I think that is what they were trying for... LCARS feel, but streamlines. Just ended up too streamlined. Need a middle ground...