Apps: A Lean Forward or Lean Back Experience?

Lean Forward or Lean Back App

At the emergence of the mobile epoch, marketers around the world, debated about the two most important germane class of engagement or user experience in media: Lean Forward and Lean Back. This two engagements level gained massive attention round the world. The Lean back are often in used in a comfortable situation, while Lean forward are used in work situation.

The lean forward and the lean back start gaining massive ground in recent years, this led to people using these concepts in various of ways and spheres.  Lean forward and Lean Back are referring to the mode of engagement and physical posture between humans and the media (Phones, Tablet, computer, TV, Newspaper, web, and the Internet generally). These methods depend on the activeness of the user at the moment and how ready they are to get what they are in search of, rather than a passive method.

Jakob Nielson noted that people interact with website in such a way that they only select the right information they want or need at the moment, only few people read every contents on the website; word for word. A perfect example of this scenario is when you are in search of a kind of information, and you stumble on a blog that has some of your keywords, you will probably read the beginning (Header and introduction) of the content before flipping through the sub categories, to check if it is exactly what you are in search of or not. This make the web a lean forward medium over the television who is a perfect example of a lean back medium. In the body of this article we will be explaining these two concepts elaborately.

Leaning Forward Meaning

This tells us about the engagement level of people when working on their computer, phones, web, or the internet; during this period their focus ability is at the peak, they receive and process every detail, quickly and actively. Their attention is shorter than usual when leaning forward, so it is of utmost importance that every detail when users take during a lean forward should be short and detail – avoid long videos and unnecessary details.

Leaning Back Meaning

Lean back entails our interaction with the media when we sit, conveniently, networking with the media, there are different kinds of lean back examples, among them are, watching a movie, reading a novel, flipping or checking through a magazine, listening to music, playing games on phone, amongst others. During the lean back method, we have longer and higher concentration/attention while interacting with the media because everything comes easy and passively. Unlike the Lean forward that has short attention span because of its active nature.

Lean Forward And Lean Backward In Application

Phones are majorly a lean forward mode of engagement. Although, we do use our mobile device for other reasons that cut across; seeing movies, facetiming, and reading or listening to story. All these do not negate the fact that the primary reason for our phone is a lean-forward method which is under the active category. There are a bunch of few things to consider when creating your mobile application in other to meet the satisfaction of your users or customers. We have put the Lean Forward and the Lean Backward into application and how to use them to satisfy your users or business customers. These highlighted ways below should be met as you work on your mobile application.

  1. Engage Your Users With The Right Thing

Keeping your users very active is another thing every app owners should do. You can’t create an app that has a very good interface but lacks creative contents. This is because, your content is what your users want to see not only your attractive interface and design layout. Create your app in such a way that your users get to interact with your application daily. This will show them the exigent use of your application to their daily lives. be free to be creative as your explore your ideas.

  • Passive And Active Should Work Together

It is important to note that users will interact with an application that has less typing than an app that has a bunch of typing process when interacting with the application. This is evident when people interact on social medias, people enjoy using abbreviation during chats as they interact with the media. Examples are, “Lol” meaning “Laugh out Loud” almost everyone would prefer or rather use “Lol” in a discussion than to use “Laugh Out Loud” this is because we human want convenience over inconvenience. So, it is very vital you reduce the text on your web and give your users lots of touching process (Interaction with the application).

  • Don’t Bore Your Users With Longer Videos

If your application is not majorly for videos, it is meaningless for you to pile longer videos on your application. You should note that your users are not there for your videos but for what you promised to offer them in your application description. All videos on your application should be short and very precise. Avoid putting longer videos on your application. Your customer’s satisfaction is all that that matters.

  • Your Application should be very responsive to user’s commands

This is another germane aspect you should look into intensively. Make sure there is no any page on your application that gives error response or that doesn’t respond to the users’ commands. It is tiring when users are trying to load a particular page for a very long time only for the page not to respond to their command or touch. Make navigation and interaction easier as your users interact with your application. When users start finding it difficult to interact with your application due to late response and shitty connection error, this will lead to app abandonment. Do all you can from your end to avoid this

  • Make everything Short (Writing/Videos)

For no reason should you bore your users with unnecessary information, go straight to the point and see how people give you the best feedback on your application. Only if, your application is a written content or an application that functions similarly to that of YouTube or videos downloading app. If not, go straight to the point and safe your users from unnecessary information.

  • Let Your Work Speak For You

This might not sound new, it is normal, because it is important for every application, let your users rate your app, honestly. Do not rely on paid reviews, let people genuinely rate your application and give you their feedbacks, this is the only right way you can satisfy your users, because you already know those areas you need to make adjustments. If someone who uses your application and finds it very interesting and awesome, he or she would tell another person who might perhaps bring someone else, like that, like that… you are building a global app!


These are ways we suggest you can make your application better, also, we have adopted and pondered on the Lean Back meaning and the Lean Forward meaning in the body of this content, it all depends on you as the main controller of your application to take those things we discussed and utilized them in your mobile application. Users will use an application that makes them lean in, this shows the usefulness of your application. Remember, users’ retention gives more profitability. That should be your aim and drive as you satisfy your users with the best application.

Consequently, we have been able to explain and tackled some germane points in the body of this article. It is evident that the phone is a Lean Forward method of engagement while the Television is a Lean Back mode of engagement… and we have been able to apply them into our application building satisfying our users.