I was struck visiting this Discourse with how overwhelming the NEW indicators were:
That’s… way too strong. It’s a bit of a side effect of us switching from the asterisk to indicate “new”, as the indicator got 3x larger, from * to new.
And when your first reaction to visiting a site after a while is “this looks overwhelming”, that’s bad. Very bad.
So I am switching it to this:
Essentially, invert the colors, with the text color switching with the background color, and the background color becoming transparent.
My thinking is, “new” is not a high value indicator like UNREAD is, and thus does not need to be nearly as prominent. Unread means I was there for 4+ minutes, I posted in the topic, or I created the topic. New could mean anything from “omg must read” to “who cares” and much more likely the latter.