3 Lessons from 7 Years of Building a GUI for MongoDB

By Studio 3T

If you use Studio 3T, here are a few features you might recognize — the first of their kind in the MongoDB tool space since replicated by many others — which came directly from customer tickets:

And the small stuff — the time-saving hotkeys, the shortcuts, the menu options, the logically-placed buttons — that our users have flagged over the years:

Sometimes it might not even be about functionality. We care about how the app feels just as much as we care about how it performs.

This means that when users ask for a dark mode, we build one — and we will keep iterating until it’s as good as it can be.

When we get feedback that our app feels like it’s “stuck in a time machine”, we get with the times.

When our icon gets called out, we work on it.

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The evolution of Hugh Manatee

And when it comes to our key features, we strive to make them better, even if that means ripping them apart. Aggregation Editor, the very first MongoDB aggregation pipeline builder, is a great example.

The core feature that we recently re-engineered in February 2020 started out as a customer feature suggestion in April 2015 and quickly became a favorite. It saved users so much time.

“Studio 3T is the tops for me. In only 30 minutes, I can gain one whole day of work when building aggregation queries.”

Pierre Yves Folens, DevOps Engineer at Orange

But we could only rebuild it thanks to our users who pointed out the small stuff we could improve, which are now an integral part of the Aggregation Editor UX.

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The history of Aggregation Editor