I am still surprised by the friction I run into when operating several different products. It’s almost as if the company did NO usability testing at all.
Example 1: I use a Sony Ericson (almost 2 years old) cell phone. When I receive a phone call and do not answer, my phone will display (next time I open it) a fullscreen message saying that I have missed X calls and ask if I want to view them. I would MUCH rather see a half-screen message saying I have missed X calls and have the other half of the screen SHOW ME which calls I have missed.
Example 2: Given the situation in Example 1, suppose that the caller also leaves a voicemail. Then, the next time I open my phone, I see a message saying that I have a voicemail and it asks if I want to listen to it. I would MUCH rather have it show me the message (even full-screen) about the calls that I missed FIRST. But, it shows Voicemail (yes/no), then Missed Calls (view/close). If I was able to see who called, then I could decide if I needed to check the voicemail now or if I could do it later.
Example 3: This model of my phone has a button on the side that sticks out of the frame a little bit. It is used for PTT (Push To Talk). But, since it sticks out of the frame, I accidentally hit it all the time! When you hit this button, it puts up a full-screen message asking if I want to activate PTT. It tells me that a charge will be added to my bill. This is very annoying. The button should not stick out at all. I should be able to disable it completely as well.
I think that there is some merit in asking users as well. Just by asking me, you will have been able to clean up 3 issues that I think are very important. But, who knows what the average user would say.