Abstract. Interactive Television (ITV) applications gratify entertainment needs and leisure activities in a relaxed domestic context. Then, the mentality of efficiency and task completion implied by many user interface heuristics may not be suitable for design and expert evaluation of ITV. In line with the contemporary movement towards the design of the user experience of computing systems, a set of design principles for ITV applications has been developed. Instead of information technology, the field of communication science was explored, which has accumulated an extensive theory of TV usage and viewer behavior. For the empirical validation, the principles were employed in the design of an interactive music TV application. The results suggest that a small set of generic principles could support the systematic design of ITV applications and produce a design rationale that is traceable and comparable to alternative solutions, during the process of early product development. In addition, the principles could be refined into specific guidelines and further employed to support expert evaluation techniques.