OK. So, you don’t agree about merging particle systems tabs (13 panels + other effects panels) with physics but your idea is about replacing physics buttons by a list.
I agree that current buttons to add effects was a bad idea.
A list like modifier’s list would take less space to add effects.
It would be the kind of thing we would have ; if we were trying to copy list template with + button. At the moment an effect is added, there should have an indication by a list item to what effect should be added.
Like + button of texture slots.
When there were introduced, I was in favor of keeping effects creation to modifier’s list.
But I have to admit it is more practical to avoid tabs switching to access display buttons.
Now that each effect have its panels grouped as subpanels inside a global one ; these buttons could be into main parent panel.
A frequent oblivion that is done with proposal of a list like that is that you can use particles and smoke for same effect. So, you may want to display both effect settings at same time by creating 2 properties editor instead of one to tweak velocity.
A list like that would require to take into account that when pinning context.
A dynamic paint effect, dependent of another one, that is also a corner case for these kind of UI design.
If you have no ability to display both effects settings in UI, you will constantly be clicking in the list to attune the effects and loose your time.