Sound Trip


Task: Product Conceptualization; Storyboard Creation
Role: Product Designer


Conceptualize a fun cultural learning experience for foreigner tourists.


Project Sound Trip is a trip planning assistant, leveraging the affordance of musicals and existing social media platform.


During recent years, as more and more Chinese travel abroad for vacations, they have gradually gained a reputation of “taking photos of everything”. However, most of the Chinese tourists tend to miss the big picture of the local culture and history due to the language barrier and their limited pre-knowledge. When people are bombarded with visual novelty, it is especially hard to read the paragraphs on museum pamphlets, while looking up word-by-word on Google Translate. How might we encourage and support Chinese tourists to learn about the culture context of their travel destination?



Sound Trip – Travel with Musicals aims to provide an engaging and approachable entry point for Chinese tourists to various foreign history and culture context. Leveraging renowned Broadway shows, Hadu would be the tour guide and connect the dots between background, characters or events mentioned in the musical and the attractions of the destinations the learners are planning to visit.



Sample Learning Experience

Near Washington Square in downtown Manhattan, there is a street called Lafayette. Why a street in New York got a French name? Listen to this song, and you might find the answer.

Americans talk about Independence Declaration and Constitution a lot. They are so fundamental that sometimes I feels they have been there forever. The simple fact is they were all written by men, and all had their own controversy back then. What type of choice would you make if you were invited to co-author it at that time, without knowing the future?



Why US presidents changes every four years and 8 years is the maximum? You might have heard that it has something to do with the first president George Washington. But if he is the first president, what made him step down after 8 years? The answer related to the origin of the two-party system is also hidden in one of the songs in this album!

As a New Yorker, I am proud to say New York City is in the center of the universe. But how come the capital of US is in Washington D.C? And why Wall street is the center of the center of the universe?



Design Journal

Since I first listened to the soundtrack of Alexander Hamilton, I have been amazed by how much interest in American history this show has brought to me – I read the lyrics, the annotation of the lyrics, wikipedia pages, watched documentary about A.H., a TV show about Revolutionary War, and went on a weekend trip to Philadelphia just to visit the Museum of American Revolution.

Surprised by my own experience, I started to read the comments related to this musical in some Chinese forums. It turned out, almost all the audiences did some levels of research on their own to better understand this background. Unfortunately, very few Chinese actually heard of this show or know they can listen to the entire soundtrack without going to Broadway in person. Therefore, I got inspired to leverage musical soundtrack as an educational tool for Chinese tourists.


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