Review the communities theme

Currently, when you view the main page of a community with a large screen (22" here) :

  • 50% of the screen width is blank, due to centering the central content column
    • In the used 50%, 50% is used to either provide some hints about the latest content or to describe the community
    • At last, the remaining 50% of the 50% is used for the actual content posted in this category.

The height is no better as the latest news banner takes a lot of space and with only one line of text shown. I've attached a screenshot to give you an idea of the "actual content / space used" ratio.


The blue part of the screenshot is the actual content of the forum. The red part is metadata and decorations.

I understand that knowing what each community is about and who manages it is important. However, this kind of information is not going to change everyday, so putting it in an "About" section would help the newcomers understand "what is this about ?" while providing more space to the actual content. The "latest blogs" and content should actually show up on the screen, instead of being listed as "things that are categorized there".


  • taking all the width possible;
  • having a lateral menu/drawer on the left containing the website navigation menu;
  • expanding the content tabs on the top and add an "About" tab that provides informations about the current community;
  • displaying each content using a flexible box layout (like a Google+ feed page, for example);
  • pinning the latest news at the top, then following it by the currently unanswered questions and latest contents, then the rest (answered questions, previous hot topics, ...);

would clearly make the website feel more dynamic, open and modern.

Currently, the fact that you can barely see more than 2 actual threads at once when entering a community, gives a kind-of low-traffic / abandoned web forum. Hiding 2 weeks old content is not helping.

  • Nice ! Now the top banner excerpt provides much more information !

    Also, the new Community theme is really nice too. If it could display the 3 latest "top blogs" events in a row, just before the unanswered questions, instead of below the metadata column, I'm sure that most of the important content will be directly available at once.

    Also, I really appreciate the community metadata column to the right !

    Good work !

  • In addition , Ive taken a look at the Community homepage layout based on your views above.

    Check , I'd love to hear you feedback.

  • Got ya. Thanks for explaining

    The banner is managed by the Community Owner, to display a link to content. That is usually a new blog, but in this case is an event in the calendar.

    The test that appears underneath is a summary. In blogs this can be automatic base don the first lines of the content, or customised by the author. Summaries are stored in the meta data and are also used in lists in the Community, but may also be used by search engines. The optimal length of a summary is 155 characters.

    In the banner widget, you can define the the truncation length of the summary. It defaults to 100 characters, oddly. I've increased it to 300 and will apply the change across the site.

  • Well, for example, when I view the "Graphics & Multimedia" community, there's the common huge banner with a circuit board that reads :

       ARM at GDC 17

       The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is the primary forum where programmers, artists, producers, game...

    There's so much space to print the whole text, and yet only one line is shown. Given how much space this banner takes, and how it doesn't sell the news very well (I don't see the relation between unprepared circuit boards and the Game Developers Conference...), I think that, at least, it would be nice to have a full excerpt instead of one line cut in half.

    Also, I thought that these big banners were put in to display the current ARM "news" that pertains to this community, but I might be mistaken.

  • Hi

    Meanwhile, would it be at least possible to show the entire excerpt of the main news in each categories banner slides ?

    - Could you help me understand a bit more about what you would like to see?

    - What do you mean by news?

    Also, how do you put a link in a comment ? I do not have access to the advanced editor for simple comments.

    - Not easily at the moment. We should have version 10 in about a month, one of the enhancements is the 'Rich text quick reply formatting' which will enable this and other text editing options in replies and comments.

  • Hi Carl,

    Interesting to hear this. Also, the revamp of the Mali website really made a lot of things clearer, most notably in the driver section.

    I see that a part of the ARM developer's documentation website has been remade too, which is nice. The old documentation website was able to freeze Firefox for a few seconds on my i5-3570 3.40 GHz, so I'm glad to be able to access documentation while avoiding browser freezes.

    Meanwhile, would it be at least possible to show the entire excerpt of the main news in each categories banner slides ?

    Also, how do you put a link in a comment ? I do not have access to the advanced editor for simple comments.

  • Hi

    In fact Mali Developer was an independent site, and got migrated to, so took on some of the styling on that site.

    They reworked a lot of the content too, which contributes to the alignment.

    And yes, there are plans to consolidate further and align the experience across sites :)

  • Oh, interesting !

    I saw that the whole Mali graphics section got a nice theme change, so I guess that the final goal is to harmonise everything ?

    Anyway, glad to see it's taken into account !

  • Hi

    There is some movement here, but this is likely to be a mid-long term project. We have other websites in our ecosystem that will trailblaze changes that will end up being applied globally.

    That said, I have a few ideas on how to improve the situation in the short term. I'm investigating these and putting together the use case.

  • Alright.

    I'm also wondering if there's a way to make this section -- 'Ideas and Suggestions' about the ARM Community Website -- more visible.

    Currently, I think only a few users know how to access this section content.

  • Hi , thanks for your input here.

    I'll review this with the team and get back to you.