Having a constant view of the layers on the left pane would make the feature a bit more functional. In addition, being able to expand the layer menu and see the vectors on it would be really nice, drag and drop the vectors between layers, etc.
Neighboring this would be naming the vectors in the layer menu/dialog, and having a thumbprint of them. Clicking the particular vector in the layers dialog would select it on the canvas as well.
Pretty much how photoshop treats the subject.
I tend to like as much real estate as I can get for the graphics window, so a persistent layer menu might take up extra space. “L” to pop it up is simple enough for me. Although a ‘dockable’ layer menu would give the choice??
A few other ideas…
Dockable would be a good start. While PS has only about 30 years of UI/UX behind it, I was just throwing it out as a great place to start, as it’s been thought through thoroughly, and is used for about the same purpose. It’d be dockable in this way, and PS/AI both have the ability to expand/minimize docked control windows.
That said, I see idle real estate in the lower left that it could dock to, unless you dispense with that entirely (I design off my daily (non-woodworking ) work machine, dual 1600x1200 screens, so real estate isn’t as precious for me).