A friend recently showed me this:
It's a weather radio. Says so right on it, but what I found most interesting is how little else there is. It's a cube. With an antenna and a switch. The switch would have made even more sense in the era in which is was made, as it looks like a tape deck switch in size, shape and action. Flush is neutral, or off, down is on.
That's it. Classical simplicity. Oh, when you get one you need to tune to the local station? Or, adjust the volume? Yes, those are rarely used features so were eliminated due to the size and simplicity they were going for.
Of course that's not what happened. They are on the bottom.
Why the bottom? Well, they are out of the way from accidental activation, but easy to get to. The same reason we do things like this in, say, mobile app or Web design today. Even this is an unusually well-designed device. Other weather radios of this era tried to achieve simplicity by doing things like hiding the tuner inside the device; you need a screwdriver to adjust it.
If even the third-tier Radio Shack designers, knocking off the principles of simple design in decades past can figure that out, why can't we all figure out the same for current digital designs? Surface the basic features, express simplicity in operation, and obscure the extra functions that are still needed, but make these controls easy to use when revealed.