• Please review our updated Terms and Rules here

Just came back-- holy cow! Looks nice...

My envelopes are different colours (grey, blue and pink) as well as being open or closed, but I have no clue what that means; is there a FAQ or similar somewhere explaining what the various icons throughout this forum actually mean?

You often see some kind of legend on different forums, but it looks like Vbulletin decided against that idea. My take on it is that blue is used for threads with unread posts and that it turns grey (and the envelope closes) when you've read them all. Unfortunately, on some monitors there's not much difference between the blue and grey, so the envelope being open or closed is sometimes clearer than the difference in colour.

The exception would appear to be the "hot topics" which are red/pink, a hot topic being one with more than a certain number of posts. It looks like these stay red even when you've read all posts, so then you really do only have the envelope image to go on.

This is all just based on my own observations, though - I could well be reading them all wrong too ;-)
I don't think the designer had any concern for the users, but looking at the names of the icons I mentioned earlier can give a clue to what was intended.

/thread_old-30.png (grey envelope)
/thread_hot_new-30.png (pink envelope open)
/thread_new-30.png (pink envelope open)

No matter how you look at it though, the idea of showing an opened envelope for the ones you have not read, and a closed one for the ones you have, is wrong. From a UI point of view it is teasing at best and malicious at worst.
There is an index of status icons here:
In case that link doesn't work for others, it is under Settings > Subscriptions.

Contains unread posts
Contains unread posts
Contains no unread posts
Contains no unread posts
More than 15 replies or 150 views
Hot thread with unread posts
More than 15 replies or 150 views
Hot thread with no unread posts
Closed Thread
Thread is closed
Thread Contains a Message Written By You
You have posted in this thread
Now, if we can just get the resident Egyptologists to connect that with the hieroglyphs. :D
Well, not all icons are listed and the icons for read/unread posts seem to be different in different views, but I did find some legends at the bottom left of some views, e.g forum and category. They can be expanded or collapsed, so they might not be very conspicuous; like I said, this is kinda like an adventure game, exploring the various rooms/caves looking for clues...
Actually Mike, the list is at the bottom of all the individual forum pages. I am not sure about the purpose of those pages and I have no reason to go there so it is only by chance that I discovered that. I don't know why that menu is not at the bottom of the main posting page where someone is likely to notice it. Anyway, now I know what they mean but that doesn't help much in making them easy to see without looking closely. Subtlety has no place in that kind of communication IMHO. That's like a public speaker whispering. :)
Not as clear as it used to be maybe, but there should be a little
icon at the bottom of the post.

So it was staring me in the face all along, as I figured. :oops: