I'd hate to add more UI to the page if it can be avoided (and maybe it can't in this case)...
I wonder, if people are curious, do they try mousing over the icons?
Maybe the solution isn't adding more UI but just making the icons more descriptive.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure people mouse over the icons to see what they're about, but I usually find myself going straight to threads that are bold, regardless of what the icon states. My brain just doesn't process a dot/semi-filled dot/empty dot immediately, though
I am getting used to it.
My suggestion was mainly for newer members, not so much for old btw.