We at VMI recommend that you load onto a platform lift back first (feet out), for many reasons. We advise that you load the lift facing outward for safety purposes and for a more more comfortable feeling when entering or exiting the vehicle. When the person in the wheelchair is facing outwards, they can see where they are going vs facing inside of the vehicle and having no line of sight behind them.
Also, people who load facing outward feel more confident since there is a slight tilt/angle when the lift is stowing and deploying. If the wheelchair user is facing inside the vehicle, they may feel like they are tilting backwards, which is a very uncomfortable feeling. Another benefit for loading the lift facing outward is for longer wheelchairs; their feet can hang over the bridge plate if necessary.