Google has slowly been migrating their help forums to a new platform.
I believe the first Google product to use this new help forum platform was Google Plus Help. But since then, the Google Book Search Help platform migrated over. We are expecting both the Google Maps Help forum and the Google News Help forum to switch over soon.
Personally, I am not looking forward to the change because it will make me rethink the way I track all the forum discussions. But I guess the best time to do it is over the holiday month, because I should have more time to do it than the rest of the year.
New design looks like this:
Old (current) design looks like this:
It has been about 3 years since Google went with the existing Google help forum design and feature set. Now that Google + is out, they are switching it over to something new.