Grids tend to work well audiogame terms, though I would also consider program shortcuts as well, since people obviously even in windows are very used to say pressing the first letter of a menu and being there instantly, indeed many people (myself included), even use numbers to put things at different menu positions, for example in my browser favourites I have a folder called audiogames, and the first item is this site with a 1 next to it.
This I think would've helped in echo quadrent to speed up the gameplay and might be something to consider for the next game.
Getting back to echo quadrent, one thing I find a bit weerd is that good will contracts pay nothing, standard contracts pay only 100 credits per ship per turn on average, and nafarious pay 200, but I have to take one good will for each nafarious to fix my reputation n negating the bennifits. This basically means it'll take a massively long time to enough for another cargo ship when the prophet is added to maintenance costs, unless I'm missing something here, indeed I did start off exploring since I thought that was probably a good idea, only to find that without a miner ship or mayflower for colonization exploring was a pretty thankless task since even if I encountered aliens I didn't seem to be able to do anything with them. Then of course there was the chance of running into pirates which pretty much wipes out my ships anyway since the pirates are all at least strength 200 and I can't aford enough ships to get to that strength, which is making progression a bit problematic at the second, unless I missed something, indeed I am a little confused why you start off with three scout ships when your in a quadrent which is already explored and when exploring doesn't seem of much value early in the game and the first thing you need to do is buy cargo ships.
Again I don't know if I am missing something here, eg some sort of bennifit you can get exploring since right now basically I'm just sitting maintaining a constant level of cash with what cargo ships I've bought (as it's pointless to buy fighterse they are no help against pirates), until I get bashed by pirates and not really progressing.
With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)