Big hero images, large white spacing, plenty of empty areas are all signs of a community designed by someone who prioritized beauty over what members need.
This usually happens when the person designing a community doesn’t participate in it.
Given the choice between beautiful and ugly, everyone prefers beauty.
But that’s not the choice.
When you’re forcing members to waste time scrolling around the page to find what they want, you have a problem. The more time it takes, the worse the community experience becomes. If it becomes too bad they go somewhere else entirely.
It’s no surprise the best communities, StackOverflow, FitBit, Spotify, Alteryx, GiffGaff etc…have densely packed sites that are easy to scan.
More than one community revamp has been ruined by someone on a misguided quest to make something prettier instead of better.
If you find yourself pushing the content people want to see down the page, adding a lot of spacing between content, it’s time to speak up. Because if you don’t your members will.