Many different things can work.
I don't however it is necessary to design the screen for much larger number of components than is currently available. That can be left for the day when it is designed to introduce such a huge number of components.
If you have a category for blasters, of course the list should only give blasters.
If you have much more categories, you may make a second level grouping different categories, into Armor, Shields, Electronic Gadgets... to make the lists more easily searchable.
Ship design is a bit of a chore currently, it could use some love. One thing is updating your capital ship when you just research new armor, new shield, new blasters, and new torpedoes (that is a lot of clicks). Another issue is easier ways in general to upgrade your designs, or the ability to leave just some designs on manual while the rest are automated. It is quite annoying to try use your own designs while the AI designer is running. You can obsolete the AI designs, and use retrofit orders and such, but it is not many seconds until the AI got a new design ready...
But then my own designs are usually better than the AI designs, so it is probably better to leave design to the AI, and just interfere a bit when stupid AI has a cruiser design that are 8 size points above your limit...
"Hm, why is 'Battle 6' struggling with this space port? <Check cruiser design> - Kufstein XVIII. NOOOOO "