Panes have been around since at least ArcMap. Those panes were home to a small community of functions - geoprocessing, results, catalog, search...that was about it. In Pro, just about every function and their brother that lived elsewhere, like symbology, have moved to panes, which certainly has its benefits. However, it's a little crowded now, and there aren't many new options for managing the new clutter. Everybody wants to live here, so to speak, but there's not quite enough room at the inn. No new housing or infrastructure has been built. The tab bar can be divided to hold a seemingly unlimited number of tabs, but the utility of that interface diminishes with pane quantity. I run into this far too often:
I can't find what I'm looking for quickly when this happens, and they all filter back in as I work and use different pieces of the software. Could I close them manually? Obviously. But in line with the 'ribbon'/contextual UI state of mind, I shouldn't have to think about that housekeeping. It's like having to unclog your sink several times while trying to cook dinner.
While there are several pane-related ideas on here - many fantastic, and linked below - I'm wondering if simply auto-closing tabs that are no longer relevant is possible, much like irrelevant tabs disappear when their content is deselected. I don't need "modify features" when I'm finished modifying features. I really don't need "export" to stick around, since that's easily accessible from the share tab, and doesn't depend on your selection like many other panes do. There are some things like symbology and label classes that I use frequently and would like to keep, so perhaps you could "pin" some to prevent from auto-closing. Or something like that. I don't have all the answers, and I'm sure more improvements could be made to panes, their location, contents, and organization but I thought this idea was worth sharing.
Other kudo-worthy pane ideas I've come across:
Custom "Reset Panes" options - a la "workspaces" in Adobe apps
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