Hi! nice job on redesigning the GUI Kxmode
While I like what you've done here (though I agree with sirdilznik on the location of the Minimap) esp. in regards to making the actual playable screen area much larger, it should be noted that BW has said that there will be no changes to the UI in Book III.
I believe one of the reasons why the GUI is a bit large and the active screen is a bit small, is the same as why the game resolution isn't Full-HD (or something like that
If I remember correctly, BW mentioned somewhere that the game engine would be slower if he would add a few more rows of tiles in the active screen.
If you increase the resolution or decrease the game GUI, you'll also have to draw more tiles on the screen each frame.
It's not only about drawing tiles, the lighting needs to be calculated for each visible tile as well.
Even though it probably won't happen, I think the only way BW would do this is after it's obvious from for example a poll on the forums, that most people have more powerfull computers with a fast graphics card than the time Book I came out.
personally, I like the way it is in Book II (game-res & GUI size). I got used to it within no time:)