By Michelle Cartwright Soverino
Egan Maritime Institute has redesigned ACKweather and its application (now available in iTunes and Google Play) to provide detailed weather, wind and tide information for Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, in an easy to use online and device setting. The new ACKweather is robust and accurate, creating a seamless user experience on a computer and all devices. In addition to a seven day forecast and webcams from around Nantucket, useful travel links and phone numbers are provided to assist users with their plans getting to and from the island. ACKweather is free and available for all to enjoy online and on smart devices.
ACKweather was established in 2010 and the original website featured moveable modules with weather, marine, and travel information provided by multiple online sources. In 2013, a redesigned, updated website using geo-specific data from many online outlets went live. An Apple compatible application was released soon after. Since 2013, the online landscape and data sources have drastically changed, and not only were many of the online modules out of date or unavailable, but the application, previously only accessible via iTunes, was soon inoperable with the numerous releases of updated operation systems from Apple.
Working with Hello Dative, in the spring of 2018 Egan Maritime began surveying website visitors and collecting activity to gather data to determine what weather modules and information were most looked at. The findings greatly informed the redesign project moving forward, and a beta website was tested with a select audience of frequent users in December of 2018. After nominal updates, the beta website was made available to the public at large in January of 2019. Visitors to the previous ACKweather were invited to visit the new site through a banner. After a few more adjustments and the development of the application, Egan Maritime is delighted to share the final redesigned ACKweather today.
Visitors to the website will now experience easy reading and navigation across a wide range of devices and can explore the new and improved modules. The home page includes graphs of temperature, wind, precipitation, and air pressure forecasts that span 12 hours. To change the graph view, the user will simply click the mouse on the desired selection in the top right of the graph in the blue menu.
To access the marine forecast page, users must simply click the "boating" tab and anchor icon in the top white menu. This page features sunrise and sunset times, as well as tide information, and an extended marine forecast for seven days. It is a favorite among the Egan Maritime staff.
The webcams page features two downtown cams at the time of this writing. It is the desire of Egan Maritime to install a webcam at the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum in the coming months, and to also source other webcams from around the island to provide visitors with unique weather views.
The travel page conveniently lists direct links to websites and phone numbers for island transportation services by air and by sea. As many of the schedules on the previous ACKweather site were often out of date or incorrect, the new links are the easiest way to connect users with correct schedules and information from the travel services.
The feedback tab located on the right side of every ACKweather webpage provides users with an opportunity to rate their experience, and we hope you’ll consider sending us yours.
Egan Maritime is delighted to expand the availability of ACKweather’s application, and we are happy to share that it is now available in iTunes and Google Play! It includes all of the information found on the website, and offers direct web and call links on the travel page. With a new application, we no longer anticipate having compatibility issues when our users update their smart device operating systems.
Why did you have to change ACKweather?
ACKweather’s website and application both needed to be updated to stay in line with the latest web technology. A lot of the modules on the old website were out of date, shared incorrect data, and some users were frustrated with the loading time or would report that the page crashed. As of late 2016, the smart phone application was no longer supported by recent operating systems, and the previous contract did not provide ongoing updates to ensure our users would be able to keep using the application. The new website and application solve the above issues by streamlining data and being managed by a developer who will continue to work with ACKweather, making it compatible and reliable with all technologies moving forward. We know that change is hard, but we believe the new ACKweather platforms will provide ongoing ease of use and accurate information in perpetuity.
Where did all the charts and graphs go?
ACKweather was unable to work with some of the previous weather providers due to a change in their terms and use. It was important to Egan Maritime that ACKweather remained a free source of accurate island weather for our users, and information that was once freely accessible to us to share is no longer available without a fee for use. The new website and application feature weather data from one source that allows Egan Maritime to share the information with no fee.
Why isn’t my webcam featured on the new site if it was on the old site?
Not all the webcams we previously featured are compatible with the new ACKweather technology. We are no longer able to link to a website, but require a direct feed to any and all island webcams in order to include them on ACKweather. If you have a fantastic webcam, we would love to feature it! Please contact Egan Maritime’s Director of Development, Michelle Cartwright Soverino, to discuss getting your webcam up on ACKweather.
I’ve got unanswered questions and I miss the old website and app.
We understand that getting acquainted with new technology can be frustrating, regardless of all the hard work and good intentions that went into it, and in your opinion it may need some further work. If you are not happy with the new ACKweather offerings or have some questions, we would appreciate your feedback, good or bad. Please contact Egan Maritime’s Director of Development, Michelle Cartwright Soverino, with your thoughts and remaining inquiries.