User Acceptance Testing: The School Website – Part 2

It’s been a few days since I sent off a list of things for the school website developers to go and fix. I didn’t expect to hear off them so soon considering the list was fairly long. However, I received this email in my inbox this morning:

I don’t know about you, but this sounds to me like the developers are getting bored of working on our school website and are looking to wrap it up and get it signed off. Therefore, the only logical thing for me to do was abuse the site as much as possible to see if everything was fixed and working.

It wasn’t. OK, to be fair the developers fixed some of the problems, but in the process added in some new ones. Here’s an updated list that I sent to them (fixed items are crossed out, new ones underlined, outstanding problems as they are):

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 intranet’ links in the footer don’t seem to point to a specific page
Can the text over the banner image have a background shadow, to allow for reading against light background images – something like “text-shadow: 0 0 10px #fff”?

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
If the last image in the list is to the left of any previous image (where it loops back around), clicking on any image to the right of it closes the popup
Can the currently displayed image be shown in the thumbnails at the bottom when opened – e.g. it currently shows the last image, but the thumbnails start from the beginning


Newsflash banner scrolls too quickly on some devices – can it be paused on hover to read text
Can the information ‘i’ use the material design iconic font icon rather than an image?

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)

Could the “404” be removed from the page, as it doesn’t help the user and it is very large in size
There seems to be a hardcoded size this displays in (so doesn’t look good on some screen sizes) – i.e. <div class=”vert” style=”width 1583px; height: 768px;”>
Can the 2nd part of the body text be larger in font size, as it provides additional help to the user (e.g. 16px to 18px)

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)
Note: does find letters and newsletters if surrounded by % characters (%letters%), so it may be worth coding these in for the SQL ‘like’ search parameters
It is possible to type a partial SQL query into the search box. Can this be removed too, as per my previous request in an email – e.g. it’s possible to get all items in reverse ID order by typing: %’ ORDER BY ‘id’ DESC — \


Display posts in reverse chronological order

Pages > Nursery, Lower School, Sixth Form

The links on the sidebar menu seem to be shown with the highest page ID at the top, e.g. Welcome is shown at the bottom (note: upper school seems to show correctly)

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


When viewing an event in the calendar, the apostrophe should be removed from “Date’s”

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 with an apostrophe in break the public pages loading. Putting back ticks in place of them isn’t a suitable replacement (Note: This is what was suggested to be done).
There doesn’t seem to be a view button next to the page action buttons

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?

Nursery pages do not seem to be added, despite showing on the dashboard

Pages > Lowerschool (e.g.)

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

Pages > Edit page

“Parent page” message has each word capitalised, can this be sentence cased?
Updating a page and then pressing the save button takes you to a blank page, rather than to the list of pages in the relevant section – e.g. editing a page in the upper school section should take you back to the list of pages in the upper school

Pages > School Nurse, Safeguarding, Guest Book

Modified the text in the page, and now can’t see a way to edit the text again as it’s empty. Making any changes and saving them does not seem to update on the site

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?

The view button seems to have been removed
Can the date of the post be edited?
Pages with an apostrophe in them show an escape character instead – e.g. There’s lots going on becomes There\’s lots going on. Subsequent saving of the pages increases the number of escape characters shown, e.g There\\\’s lots going on

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
When renaming the term title, it saves but shows the previous text. A page refresh causes the updated titles to show. Can this be done without the refresh?
Can the display order be controlled with a position drop-down menu for each one rather than having to delete and move up all of the information?


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?

View button seems to have been removed

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
Adding a new report and saving it doesn’t seem to generate the correct URLs on the public side of the website – generates <site>/.pdf and not <site>/inspection-reports/.pdf

SEND > Manage Questions

View button doesn’t seem to work
View button seems to have been removed

Guest Book, Contact Us, Request Prospectus

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

News Flash

Manage news flashs – rename menu item to Manage News Flashes
News flash date placeholder text in date format please

I’m not quite sure how to end this post. Last time I ranted a little about not creating your own CMS, so this time I think I’ll make a point about PHP and SQL 101 – a) escape your queries, b) don’t just put user input directly into the query. At least they’re not using MySQL multi-query (which is a bit of a shame).

The day after I sent them the email, I received this back:

I think I was called a few 4-letter words in their office too…

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