Your website looks tired, and it needs some new life.

It never hurts to give a redesign a shot, and the people viewing your website will always appreciate better design elements. But the art of design involves far more than aesthetics. You need to consider all of the implications of a redesign, and make sure you’re doing more than just making things look pretty.

Just remember: It’s fun to add new gadgets, bells and whistles to your website. But you have to make sure that everything you’re adding has a purpose, and the purpose serves your audience’s needs better than they were served before.

What Are You Trying to Accomplish?

If you’ve opted for a redesign, there’s probably a reason. Some things need to be improved upon, but what are the specifics? What do you want the new design to do better than the old design? Putting on a better suit won’t change your personality, and redesigning the surface of your website won’t make your site itself any different.

What Does Your Audience Want?

Your site is not for you — it’s for the people who use it. At the end of the day, their opinion matters more than yours ever could. It doesn’t matter if you think your site looks perfect and functions like a dream. If the people who use your site disagree with you, you’re alienating them. Make sure your design improvements are based around the desires of your audience.

How Will a Redesign Work With Your Content?

You need to be regularly providing valuable content. This is necessary not only for SEO purposes, but for maintaining your readership and/or customer base. Your design needs to complement your content. If you provide a helpful blog, you can’t bury your blog in the labyrinth of your design. Make sure your content will shine in its new setting.

Will Your Design Improve Conversions?

If you’re trying to get people to buy something from you, you need to make it as easy as possible. A great design will incorporate a clear call to action, with buttons that people will be eager to click. The key is finding the right balance between subtlety and aggressiveness. You want to convert viewers into customers because they’re actually eager to make a transaction with you. They won’t feel that way if they’re being spammed, or they don’t understand what you want them to do.

What About Mobile Viewing?

Your redesign needs to take place across all platforms. Everyone has a smartphone, and people love the convenience of viewing your site from their smartphone. Make sure you have a plan for mobile optimization. Sometimes, it’s better to implement a mobile redesign first, and a website redesign later. They’re equally important, and you can’t do one without the other.

Will Your New Design Trump Your Competition?

What’s the point in redesigning if you aren’t taking the concept as far as you can take it? A redesign is a major change. It takes a lot of time and money to implement. If you’re making the jump anyway, you might as well consider how your competitors are faring with their current designs. You can’t beat the opportunity to design a better site. Keep a close eye on them, and see what you can do better.

Will The Redesign Actually Solve Your Issues?

Maybe you think a redesign is the answer to all your problems. You could be far off, and not even know it. If you feel that your design is the reason why you can’t maintain an audience, or you aren’t getting the conversions you want, you could be wrong. Explore your hang-ups from as many angles as possible. A redesign is probably still a great option, but you need to make sure everything beneath the surface is functioning as well as it should be.