According to a report published by the Nielsen Norman Group, 45% of seniors showed behaviors that indicated they were uncomfortable trying new things or hesitant to explore. For example, when they failed in their first attempt at a task, some seniors were hesitant to try alternate paths.
On the other hand the younger users in the control group were twice as likely as older users to try more and different methods—such as site search, contextual help, or online chat—to find the answers to their questions or to complete tasks.
Conversely, seniors were almost twice as likely to give up on a task. Among all users who quit a task without completing it, seniors gave up 30 seconds before the younger users did.
When users had problems, seniors blamed themselves 90% of the time, compared to 58% of younger users.
In my opinion, more than the senior users, the website and its designers are to be blamed as they were unable to come up with a suitable UX design for older audiences.
Aside from design, physical factors also come into play such as vision and control. Reduced visual acuity is probably the best-known aging problem, and yet websites with tiny type are legion. Sites that target seniors should use the standard 12-point fonts or have an increase-decrease font size options.
Other things, such as pull-down menus, hierarchically walking menus, and other moving interface elements are problematic for seniors who are not always steady with the mouse. Better to use static user interface widgets and designs that don’t require pixel-perfect pointing.