Are personas past their prime?

No, not if you’re designing for enterprise. They’re not. They’re really necessary because the people using your software are so different to you that you need personas in a way that people designing consumer products may never know.

But don’t treat them like glossy objet d’arts either

I agree with the warning about treating personas as glossy, canonised artefacts. Don’t do that. New insights about our users should be surfacing all the time, if you’re doing it right.

I am going to try the 2 1/2 D approach with my team. But I really, really I liked this bit: “you still need to have done the user research — you’re not going to brainstorm a persona out of thin air”.

I have actually participated in what I think of as creative writing exercises where personas were produced that were free of all facts. No facts to encumber them at all, those personas could be whatever we wanted them to be.

Don’t do that.