The "lean-back" language learning experience

The new Phrase Mixer review tool that I released last week represents an important new direction for PhraseMix Premium. It's the "lean-back" language learning experience.

"Lean-back experience" is a term that I learned at my day job at a large magazine publishing company. A few years ago, there started to be rumors that Apple was developing a tablet computer. The company's executives started to think about how to translate magazines to these new devices. Was reading on a tablet computer like reading a website? Or was it like reading a magazine?

The company's CEO described a website as a "lean-forward" experience. You read while sitting at a desk, with your hand on the mouse. You're actively searching for information.

Reading a magazine is a "lean-back" experience. You read while sitting back and relaxing in a comfortable chair. You don't have to do much except turn the page.

So far, PhraseMix has been very "lean-forward". You can learn a lot about English here, but you have to actively work for it. You have to do a lot of clicking and searching to review old lessons. You have to keep track of what you've learned and what you need to learn next. Most language learning tools are like this.

But my original idea for PhraseMix was a "lean-back" experience. I wanted to create a tool that I could listen to in the background while I did other things: driving, cooking, exercising, or relaxing. It's taken me a long time, but the Phrase Mixer is the first step toward that goal.

The free version of PhraseMix won't change much. I'm going to continue to offer great English lessons for free, but you'll have to work to manage your learning. 

PhraseMix Premium, on the other hand, is going to become easier and easier to use. It's going to save more of your time. It's going to become something that you can just "turn on" and start learning.

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