Start a game at your tech with AI designer. Basic tech, or one step up. Let the AI design its stuff. Watch these designs. Watch the number of engines and directional stuffs. Watch the speeds of escort, frigate, destroyer, cruiser...
This should give you a baseline to design from.
Do you want your ship to be "in your face?". Slower, more armored, powerful short range weapons.
Do you want it to circle larger ships? Fast movement, fast turning, long range weapons.
But to know how to make each, peek at the AI designs and their properties. And remember, 4 as the lowest speed, for even the slowest one.
Remember, though, that the AI will use "8 thrusters" whether it is basic tech or the most advanced. So don't compare end tech speed to early tech speed.
Ok, I will do that. I tried to follow Timothaeus guide for beginners to refresh my memory and he suggested scrapping some of them. Now I keep the initial designs as standards and adjust them to my needs. The last game I had ended me costing tons of money when I went overboard with some of the designs. I tried to be careful in the current game that I just started.
Just a question, aside from those very early abandoned ships I could get, are those Capital ships and Cruisers with advanced technology a good design to aspire for and use it as a standard for what a "good" or even "great" ship is? One of the main problems I reckon I will have with things like using saved designs as standards is when technology will increase the effects of each component or replaced it with components that are more effective and whether if I should aim for lesser components thus lesser cost or same number of components but more effective but more expensive.