Build Your Own Skyrim, Part 1: Fixing The World

The first installment to a new editorial series covering some of Skyrim's better fan-created modifications is up at Rock, Paper, Shotgun, with this initial entry spotlighting mods that "strengthen Skyrim's core and fix a few glaring errors and inconsistencies."
The biggest problem I have with Skyrim is the stupid UI. It's a mess and doesn't take advantage of a lot of the screen, or of the mouse and keyboard. SkyUI's more appealing, tabbed, searchable interface (if you also install the Skyrim Script Extender) keeps the feel of Skyrim's while shaming Bethesda's awful partitioning of your inventory: the fonts are tighter, the interface catagorises everything, and you can arrange items by worth and magic by cost per second. It's embarrassing how much of an improvement to the base game this is.

I managed to not notice just how fiddly the followers were on my first playthrough, because I'd tell them to GTFO at the earliest opportunity: I'd rolled a Thief and focused on stealth, so I wanted to be alone. So when everyone was talking about Lydia and her tenacious stupidity, I smugly sat back. Modder 'Ëśmangue', however, decided to do something about it. His mod, Fixed Followers Lite, takes two main threads: it stops followers from respawning a low-spec hunting bow if you've given them a more powerful one to use. You can now remove the bow from their inventory and it won't return. It also ups the level cap of companions to 81, and adds a bunch of small tweaks to specific companions. Further updates hope to make companions less clumsy in dungeons. Follower Trap Safety does that, but FFL doesn't play nicely with other mods. If you want that and the hunting bow fix, here's a standalone mod just for that.