I am sure that nest boxes should face north/north west, mine are, I would think they should use them okay.
My sparrows already have a first brood under way. Although there is a chance later broods will use a new box, there is also a risk that it may not be used this season, whichever way it's facing. Depends how few nests sites there already are, and how much competition there is.
Re direction, the north east facing swift boxes are the sparrow's preference here, but they have nested in W/NW facing boxes. This year they've also taken over a great tit box which is SW facing. It depends on the approach to the entrance, as to whether a side entrance would be as good as front one. It also depends how exposed the W facing wall is as to whether that would be fine anyway. The boxes here are sheltered by quite a large overhang of soffit & guttering.
Ok, thank you, i guess i will have to try it and see.