Perhaps I'm especially thinking about computer programs with user interfaces.
There's always introspection by the programmer. What's been annoying you? What do you think might please users? This has limits, partly because the programmer is just one person, and not necessarily much like anyone else, and in particular, may have differences from non-programmers in general. Also, sometimes people get used to annoyances.
I can think of two more approaches. One would be semantic-- looking for complaints (online, in company records, maybe in additional places) and having a program which looks for common themes. Or human beings could do this with their naked minds. I hope at least that much is being done.
Another would be to go over the records from the programs themselves, and see whether there are repetitious patterns (especially if there are errors) from the users. Something like this might already exist. Let me know.
Here's something that I haven't gotten used to. I enter my email address. I can't remember my password. I click on the can't remember your password link. I'm asked to enter my email address again. Why?
Any other approaches to finding out what could use improvement?
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