User Acceptance Testing: The School Website

Our school is currently going through a rebranding effort, so it makes sense for the school website to be updated too. However, I haven’t really been involved with this much until the marketing team our school uses came to me to let me preview the new website.

If there’s one thing that I don’t like about website companies, it’s that some decide on creating their own Content Management System (or content management framework) software. I mean, there’s already a lot of them. Anyway, after having “training” on how to use the admin side of the site (the marketing person said “I’m fairly sure you can teach me how to use it“), I was asked to have a play with it to learn how it works, and to report any problem or changes I would like to be made. Well, here’s the list I gave to the website designers:

Website (Public) Side

General (Phones)

Site doesn’t look good on phones in portrait mode – images stretch or text on banner image is cut off
Banner images on pages on phones ‘jump’ in size as scrolled
All pages => page in landscape shows right sidebar above content, right sidebar below content in portrait – doesn’t change when phone orientated

School tour > main homepage

Can’t seem to click on alternate images / clicking left or right then on an image closes the popup
Doesn’t show on mobiles / not able to close overlay

Error pages

404 error pages could be more descriptive (e.g. http://<site>/not-here just says 404)
404 error page not shown on sub-pages (e.g. http://<site>/lower-school/not-here loads a blank article)

Search box

Lower case the ‘looking’ in I’m Looking for…
Doesn’t seem to find all words, only full page and news titles, is this by design? e.g.
Found: ‘welcome’ as it is a page title
Not Found: ‘colleagues’ (which is text on a welcome page); ‘letters’ (from ‘letters and newsletters’ pages); ‘latest news’ (not a ‘school’ page)


Display posts in reverse chronological order

SEND > website page

Question boxes don’t always align correctly
Clicking on a question doesn’t scroll down the page – should this be consistent with the rest of the pages?

Term Dates

The years in the table header are incorrect, e.g. it should be Autumn 2016, Spring 2017, Summer 2017
Autumn term should be at the top currently, as that is the term we are in at the moment

Request Prospectus

Can the school have the comma removed from its name?
“Where did you hear” has incorrect school name spelling
Confirmation on email being sent and also who does it email?

Admin Side


Non-widescreen monitors show horizontal scrollbar for the main content, possibly due to CSS ‘container’ class has a width set greater than @media min-width minus 250px (‘nav’ CSS class width)

Admin Menu Sidebar

Homepage banners – spelt incorrectly
Safeguarding – one word


Change order of display, e.g. new page created but should be displayed at the top
Unable to delete pages, but shows up on dashboard as being deleted

Pages > Add page

“Parent page” message has each word capitalised, can this be sentence cased?
“Well Done!” sounds patronising, can it say “Success” and be sentence cased?

Pages > Lowerschool (e.g.)

Expanding the pages sidebar section causes a double scrollbar to appear on the main content

News > Manage articles

View button doesn’t seem to work
Can the posts be displayed in reverse chronological order?
Delete button doesn’t seem to work, but dashboard shows success
Where do post images upload to?

Term Dates

Change name of Winter term to be (e.g. Autumn Term 2017) and allow all “term” sections it to be optionally hidden on the public side if the dates have not yet been finalised. Please let me know if you need clarification or mock-ups on this one


School stage > all (goes onto all calendars, to prevent repetition)
Date pickers worked once. After pressing ‘add event’ they have stopped showing
Start date & end date placeholder text of date format?
Event ending on following day doesn’t fill up day (i.e. 19/09 – 22/09 only shows 19/09 – 21/09)
Time ranges for events (e.g. afterschool open evening) rather than whole day as this would be useful when the calendar is in day or week view

Policies > manage policies

View button doesn’t seem to work
Add policy button on this page leads to a new news article
Editing an existing policy, after uploading a modified document and pressing save it doesn’t update the preview. The policy has to be “edited” again to see the new one
Where do uploaded policies files go?

Inspection reports

Adding a new report and saving it doesn’t seem to show it in the list of reports to manage nor on the site

SEND > Manage Questions

View button doesn’t seem to work

Guest Book, Contact Us, Request Prospectus

There doesn’t seem to be an admin section for these to make changes

I know some items sound petty or pedantic (not including the ones that just plainly don’t work), but if we’re paying a company to do this, I want to make sure that it works. If it was just a single person or created in house, I’d be far more lenient. Besides, their “our clients” page shows a number of websites with the CMS, so I can only assume they must have these problems too. Who knew user acceptance testing would be so much work?

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