On first glance you'll see that not much has changed when looking at the Communities landing page, which displays the communities you're a member of and other recommended/suggested communities. You can switch between "All communities" and "Recommended for you" via the handy tabs underneath the search bar. Recommended communities are more prominent, with larger thumbnails. It is now easier for you to see who in your circles has joined communities, and hovering over their profile photos displays their hovercard. Previously, there were inconsistencies, and it would only display their name rather than the hovercard.
|The new communities landing page, largely the same but with a new design|
|Our Google+ Updates community with the new layout|
|Moderators of a community will have stars on their profile photos|
|The new removed post message|
Overall, all the changes have been well intentioned and do improve the state of communities well. With the gained prominence of some cards/widgets, communities now feel more individual and/or personal and it will be easier for new members to read up on the rules and fit in with their community.
I love the changes, but what are your thoughts?