Got a Ticket, but I Don’t Mind: Tradeoffs are Important

Last updated on 14 March 2023

I got a ticket recently for running a red light on my bike. My first reaction was, “don’t you fucking cops have anything better to do?” As I thought about it more, my feeling became, “Thanks Mr. Officer; I’m glad you don’t have anything better to do.”

Amsterdam is one of the safest cities in the world, without being boring or dry. If the price is being a tiny bit more adherent to “the rules” than I would normally would be, so be it.

Tradeoffs in UX

As Jason Mesut reminds us, there are no absolute truths, especially in UX. Philosophies of control and empowerment often differ across contexts; sometimes users need more options, sometimes less.

In this context, I, as an Amsterdam resident, am willing to give up a little freedom for the added security and ease that comes with it. However, there is a limit to how much freedom I am willing to relinquish to gain security, and there is a limit to the security I am willing to relinquish to gain freedom.

To quote Rubén Blades, “Todo cuesta” (everything has a price), which is as true is life as it is in design.

Da Po-lice

So, from me to the “Ministry of Safety and Justice,” I appreciate what you’re doing, but does it have to cost me so much?

The Ticket