Had made these suggestions on the Galciv III wishlist but this is probably more appropriate so am copying the same here
Would just like to add a couple of reasonably small UI requirements to the large number of suggestions that have already been made which may help with some of the micro management stuff that cannot be avoided.
1. Shipyard - it would be nice to have a facility to manage the sponsoring planet sliders from within the shipyard screen. Today if shipyards have been shut down and planets assigned to something else (birthing subsidy, research, whatever), you have to go to the shipyard screen, resume and then go back to each sponsoring planet and manage the production sliders. You then often have to go back and forth between shipyard and planet if you want to say produce some ship in a set number of turns. Adding a facility to manage the sponsoring planet sliders from within the shipyard screen will help reduce micro management.
Conversely from the plant screen you should be able to see which shipyard is being sponsored. It gets to be very painful in extremely large maps to deal with the shipyard management issue.
2. On the minimap it would be wonderful if shipyards, planets and rally points are shown in different colours Also it would be great if selected items (including ships) are highlighted in some manner in the minimap to help locate the ship. One has to keep zooming in to find the item but its painful to do this if you have hundreds of items.
3. Rally points - when ships reach rally points it would nice if its treated as though its reached a planet or starbase and shown as 'stationed'. Today it will show as 'idle' and then you have go and set it to guard or sentry or whatever. Every click reduced is less micro management.
4. Sensors and FOW - if there are overlapping areas of vision then the boundaries of sensors are not demarcated. For regular ships this is not an issue. However if you build specialised sensor ships (and I think everyone does) with large range of vision it takes a lot of micro management to position ships to cover areas of your choice, Again this is a problem of very large maps. It would be nice if the sensor range has a dotted boundary visible so that again micro management becomes simpler.
5. Building upgrades - I think suggestions have already been made to allow upgraded buildings to be directly selected instead of having to go step by step. For example basic factory has a minor upgrade and then manufacturing centre and the industrial sector and so on. One may not want to auto upgrade all then way but may be go up to manufacturing sector. It would be nice to be able to select just that for a tile - the production units can the sum of all the earlier ones (30+, 45+, 67, 101 whatever). This would also help reduce micro management.