Best way to know how each looks is to use them yourself or be the target. There are some buffs that are hard to differentiate from others. For example, the Voth Diplomat doff. The buff appears as if you were using Science Team. The doff assignment ones also all look the same, but you can tell it's from doff assignments by the high time value in them. It takes a while to learn it all.
I try to use my buffs and debuffs and counters wisely but there are so many abilities at endgame I usually just end up watching to see when the countdown timers end and then activating the abilities immediately (except for heals, emergency powers and science powers which I try to use in conjunction). The game is too fast to be able to focus on flying, making the most use of my powers and also paying attention to the ever changing tiny debuffs and buffs markers. I found combat a lot more engaging at level 35 or so when there was space to actually think about the most appropriate powers and be more strategic.
I do try to look out better and it does seem to help a little. Meaning i have not died as much because i can keep my shields up better when fighting the Borg. Small steps though as they say
Thanks to all
The key thing is learning the situational awareness side, and learning to read the buff/debuff lists and what each symbol means just from a quick glance.
Eventually, with practice you end up at the stage of being able to effectively use a normal speed impulse 300+ BoP capable of a U-turn in its own wingspan with DHCs while tracking 4 team mates and opposing team members, but that takes time and effort.