Prior to starting the review, we met with Western Union's development team to ensure we fully understood the business and user goals. Then our consultants used the web site and measured its usability against usability standards and proven, best practice principles.
We assessed the site against the dialogue principles specified in the International usability standard, BS EN-ISO 9241-110, Jakob Nielsen's 10 usability principles, and the 187 guidelines for effective web design and usability described in usability.gov's "Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines". The strength of these checkpoints is that they are firmly based on user research and what is proven to work on the web, not personal opinions.
Because the literature on expert evaluations shows that a single usability expert is likely to find only around 35% of usability problems, we used three different usability professionals to carry out the review of each site. For both the English and French versions of the site we provided two reports: a detailed report describing the usability strengths and weaknesses of the web site with action-oriented suggestions for change; and a high level management summary of the results.
At the end of this engagement, Western Union's development team learnt the main usability problems with the French and English versions of the web site. They had specific design guidance on how to improve the cultural fit of both web sites, suggestions on improving the speed of the money transfer process and improved user support, visual design, navigation, content and functionality.