Differences in medium and the content offered up by these two comparable touchpoints on a train can reveal things about the surrounding context’s perspective and priorities.
In Lucerne, the digitally-mediated version of train seat assignment. Information about where the passenger in the given seat got on, and where they are set to get off (or whether the given seat is “free/frei/libre/libero”) appears on a display overhead, and “tickets” are shown on one’s smartphone to the conductor to confirm the digital display.
In Seattle and aboard Amtrak, a more analog take on things. This paper slip is preceded by a long queue, at the front of which a person in a booth with a sheet of stickers (each representing a seat on the train) affixes them to your slip. Couples share a slip (and a pair of seats), as was the case with us.