Many guidelines exist for the design of user interfaces for older users that are primarily based on age-related limitations in perceptual, motor, and cognitive abilities. This study was designed to compare the preferences of older and younger users on several characteristics of web design and to compare these preferences with existing guidelines. Results showed that the web design preferences of older and younger users appear to be very similar, which supports the 'universal design' approach. User preferences largely corresponded to those incorporated into guidelines. However, the fact that some discrepancies between guidelines and preferences were found indicates that, in addition to user capabilities, user preferences should also be taken into account in web interface design.