Forget Lean Forward or Back?

Forget Lean Forward or Back?

Author: drbrucek
Date: Dec 28, 2006 2:16 PM EST

First, let me say that my comments in no way reflect the high admiration I have for John Carey and his works. I wish I had a copy of everything he's written.

In the United States, we really do like to create false dichotomies, especially when the false dichotomies get people who have given the subject little thought. Better still are simplistic false dichotomies that are easily understood. You could probably explain the "lean forward" "lean back" to second graders, no, really!

I agree with John Carey that people will want to "lean forward" in interactive television use until they get used to the interface. I personally have found the TiVo remote to be one of the easiest remotes I've ever used. As I watched other members of my family use the TiVo remote, they might have leaned forward initially, but my anecdotal evidence finds that people sit back in the comfy chairs to watch [interactive] TV.

As for computer use, my hypothesis (which would also apply to new software on a computer) is that people may lean forward when they are learning. It doesn't take much imagination to think of someone reading a book (including college students and their texts).

Perhaps I'm jealous that I didn't come up with the lean forward, lean backward "metaphor" that I was kind of "wowed" by until it became part of the dot.com lingo like "monetize." How can anyone laugh at Stephen Colbert when we really do this stuff? We also replaced the word "market" such as "in the ecommerce marketplace, sales were up substantially over figures from a year ago." Now it's "space." Yes, I work in the "ecommerce space."

Well, that's my rant of the day. To the extent that people working in the "ergonomics space" buy into this lingo, they might have to sell chairs for leaning into the computer and leaning back from the TV (except when using interactive TV, of course).

You may use this content (better still, argue with me!), but please cite my ideas as © 2006, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein. Find any typos! Don't smite me, let me know!