Here’s an interesting issue that we’ve been debating here this week that I wanted to throw out to the crowd here.
You have an html version of an old Annual Report or some other content that exists in both print and digital formats, and it includes a link to content that is no longer available, what should you do with it?
A few other criteria for this little scenario:
- This is a historical document that was correct at the time of publishing
- If you change the document it will no longer reflect how it was when it was published
- We’re assuming that the content that it was linking to hasn’t just moved and that it is no longer available at all.
Our suggestions were:
- Leave it as-is with a known broken link. Users will likely get frustrated by this, but they can still see what the url was supposed to be and use archival tools to try and dig up a version if they needed it.
- Remove the link. Removes the possibility of frustration from the broken link, but depending on context the intent of the sentence may be changed.
- Rewrite or remove the sentence. Broken link is fixed, but so it the original intent of the sentence. The html and printed versions no longer match up.
Please let us know how you think this could be resolved!